Lothar de Maizière: "We must fight for the St. Petersburg Dialogue to continue"

14 Oct. 2021 21:07 clock

As part of the German-Russian Forum, the last GDR Prime Minister Lothar de Maizière was awarded a special prize for outstanding bilateral cooperation. In his acceptance speech, the politician emphasized the importance of the Petersburg Dialogue.

At the festive event on Tuesday in Berlin, the German-Russian Forum honored the last GDR Prime Minister and former German chairman of the Petersburg Dialogue, Lothar de Maizière, with a special prize for excellent bilateral cooperation. In his acceptance speech, de Maizière commented on the importance of relations with Russia and the St. Petersburg Dialogue. He underlined the need to fight to keep the dialogue going.

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Regarding the current situation in German-Russian relations, the politician said it would be an understatement to say that he was sad. Rather, he is “angry” about it. De Maizière quoted the SPD politician Egon Bahr, the leading creator of Willy Brandt’s new East and Germany policy, who said in Moscow: “America is indispensable, but Russia is immovable.” Referring to this statement, the former chairman of the Petersburg Dialogue said:

“Without relations with Russia we cannot exist and live in the long term.”

At the end of his speech, the politician emphasized the importance of the ability to listen to one another. On the sidelines of the event, de Maizière brought this idea to the table RT DE once again expressed. When asked how German-Russian relations could be improved, he replied as follows:

“Improving means just meeting, meeting, meeting and talking to each other.”

In view of the tense situation surrounding the future of the Petersburg Dialogue, however, the politician expressed his hope that “leading people in Russia” would understand that Germans also “participate enthusiastically in the platform” and “are not foreign agents”.

The statement relates to a conflict between the German and Russian sides of the dialogue over the declaration by some German non-governmental organizations in Russia to be foreign agents. According to Russian law, these are organizations and people who engage in political activity and receive financial resources from abroad.

more on the subject – Kremlin spokesman Peskov on the suspension of the St. Petersburg Dialogue: “We very much regret this decision”

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