Elections will not affect the policy of Germany towards Russia, experts say

© REUTERS / Fabrizio Vepssian cast their vote at the Federal elections in Germany, Berlin. 24 Sep 2017Elections will not affect the policy of Germany towards Russia, experts say© REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch

The results of the elections to the German Parliament, held on Sunday, following which the government will be formed and appointed the Chancellor, will not bring significant changes in German policy towards Russia, according to German politicians.

According to the survey conducted by the sociological Institute INSA, for a party’s Union of the CDU/CSU headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel ready to cast their vote 34% for the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD) Martin Schulz – 21%. In third place comes right the «Alternative for Germany» with 13%. To support the Left party 11%, the free Democrats – 9% Green — 8%.

Changes are not expected

According to the head of the Center for the study of Central and Eastern Europe of the German Foundation Robert Bosch Foundation, member of the German society for foreign policy Stefan Meister, the outcome of the elections in the German Parliament will not affect the country’s politics towards Russia.

«I think that after the election, big changes will not fracture will not occur because Mrs Merkel is likely to win the election, and the weaker coalition partner will play a second role in the government,» said Meister RIA Novosti. As potential coalition partners he led the SPD and the FDP.

The German political scientist, head of programs of Russia and CIS German Council on foreign policy Alexander Rahr also does not expect changes in bilateral relations after the elections to the Bundestag, however, notes that if the current government coalition – the CDU and the SPD – the social Democrats will try to begin the process of normalization with Russia.

«I think that here the social-Democrats more than other parties, will advocate for the lifting of sanctions, to try and implement traditional approaches of the Eastern policy of Willy Brandt towards Russia. Capable politicians there is, of course, a little, but still in the ranks of the social Democrats still have the spirit of Willy Brandt. So I think that the social Democrats never give up and will try to do it,» says Rahr.

If the coalition partner of the CDU will be «Green», then, according to Rahr, the dialogue with Russia will fall only on the shoulders of Merkel. «And we know that she is also a very critical attitude to Russia. Then major changes in German policy towards Russia do not see» — said Rahr.

The expert noted that Germany is integrated into the framework of European policies and Chancellor depends less and less.

«In order to improve relations with Russia, it is necessary, first, to break the confrontation between the Balts and the poles that will hinder any process of rapprochement with Russia and the need to get support of at least two or three other major European States, so as to break the trend in the EU. Such partners of Germany, except Austria, today I never see,» — said Rahr.

The Schultz have little experience in the question of relations with Russia

Both experts agree that the leader of the social Democrats, Schulz, despite a number of positive remarks about Moscow, share a critical politics of Brussels.

«From my point of view, Schultz is typical of the Brussels bureaucrat. He last 20 years has been spinning in the environment of Russophobia in the Brussels Parliament even supported a policy that was conducted there, the Balts, the poles against Russia, so I think of him personally, no pulses against Russia can not go,» — said Rahr.

According to Meister, Schultz deals with more internal and European politics, not external.

«This means that he has little experience in the relations with Russia and Brussels have left an imprint, that is, the Schulz rather critical position towards Russia. I think he will have to combine the Brussels experience and desire of his party to seek a compromise with Russia – a desire that Mr. (Sigmar) Gabriel (head of the German foreign Ministry — ed.) tries to make everything more clear,» said Meister.

«Alternative for Germany» and «Left» would choose Russia

Speaking about what party most likely would choose friendly to the Russian course, German politicians emphasised the «Alternative for Germany» and «Left».

«Definitely the leader of the ADG, Mr. Alexander Gauland and leader of the «Left» Sahra wagenknecht. If suddenly a miracle happens — but I don’t know if it will be a miracle for Germany — if someone of them will come to the post of Chancellor, I will really start improving relations with Russia,» Rahr believes.

According to the Meister, these parties at least claim that they would prefer Russia-friendly course, but both and, above all ADG can be attributed to the populists. «Populists are not always predictable, but by their pre-election statements and election program they are very friendly to the Russian course and want to cancel the sanctions,» said Meister.