Gernot Erler, the Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, issued the following statement today (14 September) in view of his visit to Russia:
Especially given the difficult political problems which need to be resolved at this time, we intend to do all we can to preserve – and, where possible, expand – the many good bridges we have built between our two countries in the last 25 years. That applies particularly to cultural and academic ties, primarily in civil society.
Gernot Erler will be in Moscow from 14 to 16 September. While there, he will take part in an event celebrating the tenth anniversary of the German Historical Institute in Moscow. Another focus of his trip is the situation facing Russian civil society. Mr Erler will join Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, to co-chair a meeting of the Petersburg dialogue working group on civil society. The session will be concerned with preparations for the Petersburg dialogue to be held in Potsdam this October. The Russia Coordinator will also use his time in Moscow for talks on bilateral issues and foreign affairs with representatives of the State Duma and the Council of the Federation. A particular focus here will be the situation in Ukraine.