The German politician fears that Russia could dramatically change its foreign policy toward Europe.
"On the 25th anniversary of the proclamation of independence, the Russian Federation finds itself in major conflict with the West since the end of the Cold War and is in the process of reorientation," said Erler to the German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Friday.
According to the politician, the ongoing Western criticism of Russia following the reunification of Crimea with Russia and the conflict in eastern Ukraine is making Russians awaken and desire "to move away from the West."
According to the politician, Russia has many alternatives such as the G20 and BRICS. Moreover, the German politician believes that Moscow may focus on work within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the ‘China card’.
Speaking about the sanctions imposed by the European Union, Erler said, "Russia against the background of mutually beneficial economic cooperation with Germany, did not expect that Berlin will take such a stance and this endangers the bilateral relations.”
Erler further noted that the arms supplies to Ukraine could open doors for military conflict on European soil.