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Germany’s CDU leader warns against curtailing dialogue with Russia, China

Armin Laschet has come out in favor of a multi-vector policy

BERLIN, May 3. /TASS/. The leader of Germany’s Christian-Democratic Union, Armin Laschet, who has officially obtained the status of a common candidate for federal chancellor from the conservative alliance Christian Democratic Union-Christian Social Union, has come out in favor of a multi-vector policy and warned against curtailing the dialogue with Russia and China.

"Foreign policy has always been geared to the search [for ways of interaction], including cooperation with countries having different social models. This concerns China, Russia and the Arab world countries," Laschet told the newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview. He added that otherwise Germany would have to confine itself to having relations with a handful of European countries.

"This is not enough for a world power. It is essential for us to not consider our economic relations in isolation, but always connect them with the dialogue on the rule of law and the supremacy of human rights, and react clearly to human rights abuse," Laschet said.

At the end of January Laschet, who is Angela Merkel’s potential successor as federal chancellor, said that Russia was an adversary of the West in many respects, but ways of cooperation with Moscow on major issues must searched for. As an example, he pointed to the efforts for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate and the settlement of conflicts, including that in Libya.

Most German experts are unanimous that Laschet will push ahead with Merkel’s current policies towards Russia. Earlier, he said more than once cooperation with Moscow should be stepped up and points of agreement looked for without playing down disagreements, though. Laschet expressed the certainty that Russia was part and parcel of a common European home. He openly supported the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.