The Prime Minister of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition CDU/CSU, called for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions in 2017 and returning of Russia in “group of eight”. He stated this in an interview with Bild am Sonntag published on Sunday, January 29.
“Sanctions against Russia should be lifted this year. Russia also must return to the G8. We need to abandon the bloc mentality of the twentieth century. It is about sharing the answers to the problems of terrorism, migration and climate change,” said Seehofer.
The Bavarian Prime Minister said that he was against the policy of “sabre-rattling”. According to him, it is necessary to remember about different views on the Crimean question, but at the same time strive for a “sound economic relationship”.
January 28, the new foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel at a meeting in Paris with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault said that the only way to the lifting of EU sanctions in force against Russia, related to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. “Germany and France have a clear position on sanctions. We want to achieve implementation of the Minsk agreements. This is the only way to the lifting of sanctions,” he said.
On August 31 last year, the predecessor of Gabriel Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a return of Russia to the G8. He explained that, despite the fact that the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine continue, “the Big eight” interested in Russia’s presence in the group, which includes the world’s largest economy.
The G8 has ceased to exist in 2014 after joining the Crimea to Russia. Then the leaders of major world powers has refused to participate in the summit that Russia, as chair, was held in Sochi. Instead, in Brussels was held a summit of the G7 (France, UK, USA, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada).