BERLIN, May 19. /TASS/. Germany's former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says he believes that Western countries are not always right in the way they treat Russia.
In an interview published on Tuesday, he told German daily Bild: "We should understand that there are certain fears in Russia and the Russian president has to respond to them. That’s why the way the West treats Russia is not always right."
"As for Ukraine, there is always talk about tightening and extending sanctions against Moscow," Schroeder said. "Why do Western politicians not better ask: Can we ease or lift sanctions if there is progress on the Ukrainian issue?"
Chancellor from 1998-2005, Schroeder said he considered it "a good signal" for relations between Germany and Russia that his successor Angela Merkel visited Moscow for commemorations marking 70 years since Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.
Merkel, who together with her European counterparts participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall on May 10, however, did not attend a military parade on Moscow’s Red Square, he recalled.
"I have noted that Merkel stayed away from it [the May 9 parade] out of consideration for international developments. I would have done otherwise. But she was in Moscow a day later and laid a wreath together with Russian President Vladimir Putin," he said. "This was a good signal for the German-Russian relations.".