Germany and Europe despite the criticism of Russia are interested in cooperating with Moscow in the issues of common security, disarmament and arms control, energy, climate change and pandemics, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) said in its program for the elections to the Bundestag.
"It is absolutely clear that it is in the interests of Germany and Europe to achieve jointly with Russia common progress in the issues of common security, disarmament and arms control, as well as in the field of climate protection, sustainable development, energy and the fight against pandemics," says the document published on the SPD website.
"Despite all the criticism in regard to Russia we are betting on readiness for dialogue and cooperation. Peace in Europe is possible not in spite of, but only with Russia," the document says. The SPD calls for stepping up all contacts through civil society and for easing visa requirements for young people, TASS reports.
The party stressed the need for devising "a common and coordinated policy of the EU" on Russia, which should be based on the values and principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
"Russia's readiness for a constructive dialogue is a condition for reducing tensions," the party said. "This also includes the fact that a path to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine and the related lifting of sanctions [against Russia] largely depends on the Minsk agreements’ implementation," the text stresses.
The party also called on Russia and the United States to launch talks on the issues of "verified and full disarmament" with the goal of "finally withdrawing and eliminating nuclear weapons deployed to Europe and Germany."
However, the SPD criticized Moscow, saying that "the relations between Europe and Russia are constantly subject to blows." Among them the party named the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Crimea’s reunification with Russia, a cyber attack on the Bundestag (Moscow has denied its role on numerous occasions) and the incident with Alexey Navalny. The party claimed that "Russia regularly violates international law and therefore complicates relations with its neighbors."
The elections to the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, are scheduled for September 26. The SPD’s party list will be led by Federal Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz.