BERLIN, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Germany’s new coordinator for German-Russian Intersocietal Co-operation, Gernot Erler, has called for “consistent development of relations between Germany and Russia”.
Speaking at a meeting with correspondents accredited in Germany on Thursday, Erler said he “will stake on continuity” and “fair treatment of the partner” in developing relations between Moscow and Berlin. He said it was important “to understand the arguments of the other side”, which helped “establishing an atmosphere of trust”.
“We are interested in developing relations with Russia,” he said, noting that there were some “tense moments” in the bilateral relations, and some of them were still “subject to discussion”.
Erler highly appreciated “reliability of gas supply” from Russia to Germany and the European Union, adding that “we can talk about interdependence of Russian and the EU” in this regard. He also recalled that the security of Russian natural gas supplies was already guaranteed in the Cold War.
Gernot Erler was appointed as a new Coordinator for German-Russian Intersocietal Co-operation at the beginning of January, replacing Andreas Schockenhoff, Germany's coordinator for Russian politics known for his critical position towards Russia’s authorities. Schockenhoff was one of the initiators of a tough resolution on the situation in Russia, passed in the German Bundestag earlier.
Erler, 69, urges a closer co-operation with Russia. From 2005 to 2009, he served as the Minister of State in the Federal Foreign Office and already then was Germany's coordinator for social ties with Russia.