Berlin, Germany (nsnbc) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Russia one day after the 70th V-Day celebrations in Moscow. Merkel discussed a wide range of issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the agenda were, among others, Ukraine and a peaceful settlement of the conflict at Russia’s doorstep, the implementation of the Minsk Accords, Crimea, German – Russian trade and cooperation as well as cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
The German Chancellor did not participate in the V-Day celebrations in Moscow but sent a telegram with condolences to the Russian Presidency on Saturday. While some media touted Merkel’s absence in Moscow on Saturday as “anti-Russian”, there were others who pointed out that Germany, 70 years after the end of WW II, still has not regained its sovereignty and still is subject to dictates, particularly from Washington, London and NATO.
Arriving in Moscow on Sunday, the day after the grand parade, Merkel and Putin publicly toured several of the historical sites related to Russia’s V-Day. Addressing the press, Merkel stressed the need to defuse tensions between Germany, the EU and Russia, while focusing on the resumption of normal relations, the development of future perspectives, while continuing a partnership with regards to defusing tensions in and about Ukraine.
After meeting Putin, Merkel described the formation of newly formed working subgroups within the Ukraine Contact Group that was formed within the framework of the so-called Normandy Group as a ray of hope for settling the conflict in Ukraine. Merkel stressed that she hoped that the subgroups would especially be able to swiftly solve problems with the access of aid convoys to the self-declared Donetsk and Lughansk People’s Republics.
Merkel also stressed the importance of maintaining Ukraine’s territorial integrity and positioned Crimea’s accession into the Russian Federation as illegal.
Germany / NATO, on one hand, refers to the principle of the invulnerability of a nation’s territory, while Russia refers to the equally valid right to self-determination. Both of these principles are enshrined in international law; both are equally valid; and their interpretation and application is generally based on constructs under the guise of “legitimacy” rather than on law.
Merkel confirmed that she, Putin as well as French President Francois Hollande were willing to continue their work to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in and about Ukraine.
Merkel stressed that there was no rush to hold elections in Ukraine which would include the rebelling Donbas republics as long as the military situation had not been defused. Ultimately, she added, that elections should result in the Ukrainian government regaining full control over the Ukrainian – Russian border.
Merkel reiterated that Germany advocates the fastest possible normalization of German – Russian and EU – Russian relations. The German Chancellor especially stressed Germany’s wish to normalize trade relations between Germany and Russia.
On Wednesday, last week, Chancellor Merkel commented on the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), saying that Germany did not perceive the EEU and the one or the other nation’s accession into the EEU as competition to the European Union. Merkel added that she rather perceived the creation of the EEU as an opportunity for establishing the basis for a far-reaching cooperation between the EEU, the EU and its constituents.
A Deutschlandtrend poll in 2014 revealed that about half of Germany’s population does not perceive Germany as solidly anchored within NATO and that about half of the polled Germans would like to see Germany to assume a neutral role as bridge between the East and the West with equally good relations and distance to both Washington and Moscow.
CH/L – nsnbc 11.05.2015
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