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"There was a trend in Germany to audit transatlantic relations"

"There was a trend in Germany to audit transatlantic relations"

19.07.2018
Tags:Germany, Politics, Ukraine, Russia, Analytics, Europe, Sanctions, West, Elections, NATO,

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavel Klimkin, got into a dispute with one of the leading parties of the FRG - with the liberals who, in fact, offered to recognize the new status of the Crimea and at the same time approved the decision of the Scooter group to give a concert on the peninsula. In Germany, a month's elections, and liberals are thus trying to raise their popularity. True, in the FRG, not so much sympathy for Russia in itself, as much as antipathy towards Trump.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin on Wednesday protested to German politicians who in recent days called for unfreezing relations with Russia and, in particular, de facto recognizing the Crimea as part of it. "We are very concerned that some politicians now and then try to ignore or even justify the obvious violations of international law, as now the leader of the FDP Christian Lindner," Klimkin told the German newspaper Bild. According to him, this "encourages the aggressor to further misdeeds", and the politicians mentioned by him "become complicit in the crimes of Putin."

Klimkin demanded to continue to seek the "liberation of Crimea" by all possible political and diplomatic methods, for which the sanctions against Russia are not weakened, but, on the contrary, toughened.
Let's remind, Линднер has declared, that the European Union needs to improve relations with Moscow, and for this purpose to reconcile with reunion of Crimea with Russia, that is to consider it as "a long-term temporary state". "Getting out of the impasse" in relations with Moscow is necessary to ensure "security and prosperity in Europe," he noted. To weaken sanctions, there is no need to wait for the full implementation of the Minsk accords, since "positive intermediate successes should also be appreciated," Lindner added.

The leader of the party was immediately attacked by the criticism of the yellow press, including the same newspaper Bild. Under her pressure, Linder was forced to explain that he did not mean the recognition of the "annexation of the Crimea", but only suggested that the resolution of any issue should not be made dependent on the Crimean problem.

Let's remind, liberals (the Free Democratic Party of Germany - FDP) are considered an influential force - they reflect the interests of large German business and regularly entered the government earlier. Now the rating of the party fluctuates at the level of 8-9%, it is considered the "natural" ally of the party of Angela Merkel (CDU) after the elections to the Bundestag, scheduled for the end of September.

The liberals decided to play anti-Americanism

"Lindner's statement for free Democrats is indeed unexpected. The FDP is actually the CDU Merkel's sister party and always stands with allied positions, "the leading researcher at the Center for German Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Kamkin told VZGLYAD. He recalled that until now the pro-Russian on the German Olympus was considered the left and right "Alternative for Germany" (AdG) and the Left Party.

As Kamkin admits, Lindner decided on such a statement because of the upcoming elections. The alignment is already understandable: 60-65% give their votes to "traditional heavyweights" - the ruling CDU (Christian Democratic Union) and the SPD (Social Democratic Party), which go nostril to the nostril with a difference of 3-4%. The remaining 35% of votes are divided among themselves FDP, AdG, left and green. "The competition between these parties of the second echelon is quite strong," the expert said.

"Lindner's call reflects the opinion of a certain percentage of the population, including the establishment. So, even if he is criticized by Merkel, this information signal will not pass without a trace, "the interlocutor noted.

"In Germany, a trend emerged to revise the transatlantic relationship. Affects the Trump effect. The demands to pay 2% of GDP for NATO maintenance have already caused irritation. German taxpayers vote with a purse, not with their heart,

- the expert emphasized. The Social Democrats have already stated that Germany should not pay these 2%, he added. Against this background, Lindner's position on Russia already looks like a moderate, weighted, the expert stressed.

The Russian theme has not yet become the main one at the elections

A source close to the leadership of the FDP itself told VZGLYAD that the official line of the party had not changed. It supports sanctions and considers the Crimea to be Ukrainian. Only the accent changed - Lindner called for renewal of relations with Russia, and the dispute around the Crimea - to be taken out of the brackets, the interlocutor explained, adding that such an adjustment enjoys appreciable support of the population.

However, according to him, the Russian theme in itself is not considered very acute in Germany, but only emerges in connection with some events, for example, new US sanctions were met very negatively. In general, according to a source in the party, in the German society all the last three years there have been strong doubts about the anti-Russian sanctions. Public opinion on this issue is divided in the ratio of approximately 50 to 50, he believes.

Indeed, with the view of Lindner on the Crimea, 44,4% of German citizens agreed, according to a poll by the Institute for the Study of Public Opinion Civey for the publication of Welt. However, 43,2% do not share such views. Lindner is supported mainly by "mature" Germans older than 65 years, the study notes.

Lindner was also supported by the leader of the Left Party, Sarah Wagenkneht, who, however, criticized the United States earlier and called for a compromise with Russia. For her party (8,6% in the last election), unlike the liberals, such rhetoric is not new.

Miller was told not to go to the show "Germany is looking for a superstar"

Scandalous statement of Linder coincided with the visit of the German group Scooter ("Scooter") to the Crimea, where she performed at the festival. The audience greeted the artists so warmly that the soloist of the group HP Pix Baxter (Hans Gerdes) promised to return - "to see you next time."

Outraged ambassador of Ukraine in Berlin Andrei Melnik demanded to expel Baxter from the jury of the show "Germany is looking for a superstar" on RTL, recalling that a criminal case was brought against the group in Ukraine. Under the protection of musicians took the deputy head of the same party of liberals Wolfgang Kubiki. "A foreign ambassador must not exceed the limits of necessary restraint, otherwise he can become a persona non grata," the Kubiki threatened in his Facebook, reminding that Germany is a legal state, not a dictatorship.

A source in the party admitted to the newspaper VIEW:

"On the sidelines, in the circle of his Kubiki long scolded the decision to impose sanctions against Russia. Now he realized that it can be done publicly,

Said his colleague. At the same time, he said, in a dispute with Melnik, it is more likely that the Kubiki, like many other German politicians, is firmly convinced: foreigners should not interfere in German internal affairs, indicate who should participate in the TV- show. The German added that this position is supported by the majority of the population, as well as the fact that Scooter and other musicians can go where they want.

"In Germany, freedom of creativity is at the forefront, therefore, attempts to dictate that you can read where and to whom you can travel, the German elite reacts painfully," Kamkin said.

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