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“Germany has taken up quite a balanced position as far as current relations with Russia are concerned,” Grinin told ITAR-TASS on Monday. “It acts as a leader of the European Union, where opinions do not always coincide or, we may even say, do not coincide at all.”
“It seems that the European Union still cannot fully understand the reasons for the current crisis in Ukraine,” he said, adding that Germany “acts as a kind of a catalyst for a middle course.”
Germany “plays a significant role in the Russia-US-EU triangle, and this role of a bridge connecting Russia and the United States is highly required in the current situation,” he said.
“Economy, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, and first of all, German ones, can really move us forward,” Grinin said, noting a growing scepticism among German businesses about imposing broader economic sanctions on Russia.
Sanctions in this case would break up European countries, he said. “Nobody needs this break-up, and the business community needs it least of all,” he added.
The diplomat also disagreed with a widespread opinion in the West that the European Union should reduce energy dependence on supplies from Russia, adding that parties to the Ukrainian conflict should develop trust in each other, which should help to solve many issues, including those connected with gas supplies.
“As far as I know, German businesses are very interested in the closest possible cooperation with Russia, and they want to continue developing the market as soon as necessary conditions are created,” Grinin said.