„Meanwhile, Anton Friesen, a member of the AfD parliamentary group, stated that Germany – one of the main players of the EU – has changed course on Russia.
“Now, instead of a strategic partnership for mutual benefit, Germany is following the course of the transatlantic community, in fact representing not its own, but the interests of the United States and its European allies: Baltic States, Poland. This goes hand in hand with German claims to lead the ‘Western value community,’ leading a kind of cultural war of liberalism vs. conservatism — traditionalism — instead of cooperating on energy, security and cultural matters with Russia,” the deputy explained.
According to him, the sanctions and the economic downturn in Russia in general have led to a creeping, steadfast deterioration in EU-Russian trade relations.
“EU-Russian trade totaled 300 billion EUR in 2012, but fell under 200 billion in 2016. The politics of import substitution in Russia could in fact lead to the substitution of European goods especially in the agricultural sector. Nevertheless, European, especially German companies remain the most technologically advanced in the machine construction and engineering sector. So, I don’t think that Chinese or other companies can really win the contest against them. I think that the trade between EU and Russia will return to its previous level and even surpass it, let say, towards 2025,” Anton Friesen suggested.
According to the politician, Germany should engage in mediation between Russia and Ukraine, using wise, diplomatic and balanced actions, which can lead to the end of sanctions. However, official visits of state players can only be carried out to the internationally recognized countries and regions, he said.“