Christof Lehmann -
Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at email@example.com
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached out to Russia, saying that Germany favors the soonest possible restoration of relations between Russia, Germany, and the European Union. Relations soured after the eruption of the crisis in Ukraine, the accession of Crimea into the Russian Federation and subsequent European sanctions. Following the UK’s Brexit”, relations between Russia and the EU are at a historical crossroad.
After a meeting with Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev in Bishkek, Chancellor Angela Merkel asserted that she would like to see relations with Russia restored as soon as possible. However, she underpinned, that this will require a lot of effort. Merkel noted that this was a complicated process and stressed that all conflict situations should be resolved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Merkel added that this will take some time.
Merkel, has previously said that Germany was not opposed to any country cooperating with both the European Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
Underpinning Germany’s position in this regard, and suggesting Germany’s interest in closer Eurasian ties, Merkel said that cooperation should develop in this sphere.
The Chancellor also noted that Germany and France are working on facilitating the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and normalizing relations with Russia. It is noteworthy that the Minsk Agreements, which resulted in the ceasefire regime between Kiev and Ukraine’s rebelling Donbas republics, was brokered within the so-called Normandy Four format. That is, with participation of Germany, France, the Ukraine and Russia, while the United Kingdom and the United States were bypassed.
Kyrgyztan’s President Almazbek Atambayev, for his part, said that Bishkek also is interested in the normalization of relations between Brussels and Moscow. Atambayev said that Kyrgyztan, as a European country, feels that the crisis in and over Ukraine and the deterioration of relations between Russia and the EU, also feels the consequences of the current situation.
In 2014 the EU imposed sanctions against Russia. Sanctions were imposed over Russia’s role in the crisis in general and especially after Crimea’s accession into the Russian Federation. There is a significant divergence in how Russia, Ukraine, and the EU perceive the Crimea issue. The Ukraine and the EU accused Russia of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Russia, for its part, uses the equally legally valid right to self-determination as argument for the legality of Crimea’s accession into the Federation.
The annexation of Crimea, as it is perceived by the EU, has caused anxiety among Germans who are cognizant about the fact that one-third of Germany’s territory was "annexed” and "re-distributed” during two world wars and the ethnic cleansing of millions of Germans. There is also a growing number of Germans who are no longer willing to accept the propaganda narrative of a universally evil Germany that was the one and only aggressor who single-handedly started two world wars.
Germany is, on the other hand, also interested in improving relations with its Eurasian neighbors and to escape dictates imposed by the UK and the USA via NATO. It is also in this regard that a less propagandistic and a more long-sighted Russian approach to history and its narratives could help improve relations and contribute to lasting European and Eurasian peace and stability.
CH/L – nsnbc 14.07.2016