14.03.2017 - Article

On arrival in Warsaw, the first stop on his visits to Poland and Russia, Foreign Minister Gabriel was given a football shirt for his daughter Thea, who was born at the weekend.

During his talks with his Polish counterpart Waszczykowski, difficult topics were also addressed. Poland is a close neighbour and an important partner for Germany. At the joint press conference, Gabriel called for support for the EU.

“We should never forget that it is a great gift to be able to live in today’s Europe. Nowhere else in the world can people live in as much freedom, democracy and security as they can in Europe. And it is our joint task to keep this Europe together.”

The next stop was Moscow, where Gabriel visited the Kremlin. His two-hour meeting with President Putin focused on bilateral relations, the security situation in Europe, and eastern Ukraine.

Gabriel also held in-depth talks with representatives of civil society at the German Ambassador’s residence. Afterwards, he met his Russian counterpart Lavrov.

With regard to the security situation in Europe, Gabriel underlined the joint responsibility for peace and stability. Both spoke frankly during their joint press conference:

“I am concerned that we are facing the threat of a new arms race once again.”

Gabriel disputed Lavrov’s diagnosis that the world had entered a post-Western age.

“I see the West as a political, rather than a geographical, demarcation. And I for one will do everything I can to ensure that the idea of the West of universal human rights, freedom and democracy does not become posthumous.”

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