The participants of the forum in Germany called for improved relations with Russia

© RIA Novosti / Igor Taraborrelli in fotobounce house in Berlin. Archival photoThe participants of the forum in Germany called for improved relations with Russia© RIA Novosti / Igor Taraborrelli the image Bank

The participants of the conference on perspectives of German-Russian relations, which was held on Saturday in the lower Saxony city of Hanover, expressed concern about the need to develop and deepen bilateral cooperation.

In particular, among the participants of the meeting were the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil, honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Hannover Heino Wiese, lower Saxony’s Commissioner for migration, Doris Schroeder-Kopf, the Russian Consul General in Hamburg, Andrey Cowboy, representatives of public organizations, deputies of the Landtag (state Parliament).

Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated over the situation in Ukraine, where in 2014 there was a coup and Crimea, which became Russian region after the referendum and after the incident in Britain, where he was poisoned ex-GRU officer Sergei Skripal. Western countries have accused Russia of meddling in Ukraine’s Affairs, in the poisoning Skripal, imposed sanctions and sent Russian diplomats. Moscow retaliated, repeatedly denied the charges and claimed to talk to her in the language of sanctions is counterproductive. Recently in the West often hear opinions about the necessity of cancellation of sanctions against Russia.

Need a fresh breeze

«Gathered here are people who have a positive attitude towards Russia, want to maintain and develop the relationship,» the event was opened by the honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Hannover Heino Wiese, who was the organizer of the meeting.

According to the Consul, is currently from the USA there is «aggression, which we do not remember long ago.» And «threats can be heard not only in Russia, but also Turkey, Iran». In this situation, «Europe should not keep silent, to stay away,» said Wiese.

He added that German-Russian relations «would not hurt a fresh breeze from the political and social point of view.»

The sanctions policy against Russia cannot be an alternative to the permanent dialogue, which is the majority of Germans, Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Stephan Weil, speaking at an event in Gifhorn.

«I can confidently say that sanctions have led to improved political relations between our countries. I believe that this form of reciprocal penalties, fines, sanctions some degree unproductive and cannot be an alternative to the policy of permanent dialogue,» said Weil.

He added that public opinion polls show that the «vast majority of Germans share this skepticism and, regardless of party preferences in favor of cooperation, dialogue and constant discussion with Russia, so we worked on good relations with Russia.»

«If we can get out of this impasse, there is hope for significant progress. The potential of relations between Russia and Germany in the economic plan not implemented,» said Weil.

He added that he «highly appreciated that in Lower Saxony works so many social initiatives that aim to build friendly and peaceful relations with Russia.»

«Public cooperation between Russia and Germany is very active, it covers such areas as culture, science, medicine,» said lower Saxony’s Commissioner for migration, member of the Landtag Doris Schroeder-Kopf.

She added that she has long advocated dialogue and cooperation with Russia, including as a member of the German-Russian forum, and quoted the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who called such a policy «is extremely necessary in the current relationship.»

According to the Ombudsman, more than 400 thousand Russian Germans moved in recent decades in Lower Saxony, and «they make an important contribution to cultural and economic development of our land.»

Schroeder-Kopf urged the audience to contribute to the further development of German-Russian relations, saying that as a motivation to use the words of the legendary German social Democrat Egon Bar: «the World must be taken as it is, but we can not change it for the better.»

The participants of the forum in Germany called for improved relations with Russia© Infografiken sanctions against Russia and retaliatory measures