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German expert: Russia’s success in foreign policy allows optimism as to its G8 presidency

January 27, 2014, 12:17 UTC+3 BERLIN
Ewald Bohlke, expert for Russia and former Soviet republics and member of the German Council on Foreign Relations, expressed his view on Russia's G8 presidency
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Main press center in Sochi, where the G8 summit will take place

Main press center in Sochi, where the G8 summit will take place

© ITAR-TASS/Artur Lebedev

BERLIN, January 27, 11:44 /ITAR-TASS/. Success that Russia had attained in foreign policy in 2013 point that the country is able, on the rights of president in the Group of Eight (G8), to outline effective approaches to topical geopolitical problems. This view expressed to Itar-Tass on Monday Ewald Bohlke, expert for Russia and former Soviet republics and member of the German Council on Foreign Relations.

“We need to remember two things. First, Russia exerted major influence on conflict settlement in Syria in 2013, actually attaining destruction of chemical weapons, secondly, agreements on an international conference on Syrian settlement in Geneva were reached with Moscow’s participation,” the expert noted. “You should not forget about the situation over Iran, which started open talks (with the West) at Russia’s initiative that may result in settlement of two problems — Iranian nuclear dossier and the sanctions against Iran,” he added.

“It is possible to conclude that Russia had taken very successful steps in foreign policy in the previous year,” the expert said. All these facts allow stating that Russia as the G8 presiding country in this year has all capabilities to determine the political agenda, Bohlke believes.

He noted that the G8 states face many geopolitical challenges, which primarily embrace the countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, relations between the European Union and the United States are important, particularly in view of exposures of activity of the U.S. National Security Agency.

In the view of the expert, approaches to all these problems “should be worked out by all countries, which are G8 members.” “These joint actions should have a certain shape (he refers to the G8 grouping — Itar-Tass.),” Bohlke believes. In this case some initiatives are put forward that “permit not to follow the conflicts from outside,” but to determine an approach to them and find proper solutions, the expert said.

Ewald Bohlke heads the Berthold Beitz Centre at the German Council on Foreign Relations since January 2013. He replaced well-known political expert Alexander Rar at the post.

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