Nearly five years after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, the German economy hopes for an Expansion of contacts with Russia at the highest level. Of the policy, the companies want above all to the revival of those high-level contact formats with the Russian government, since 2014, on the ice.

“would be Very helpful ( .. ), the annual EU-Russia summit and the resumption of (…) the German-Russian government consultations”, it says in a position paper From the German economy, which is the MIRROR. Both formats had been suspended after Russia’s military Intervention in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine.

Previously, the BDI had argued a similar policy document for a tougher approach towards China.

The Eastern Committee in the case of Russia, however, for a rapprochement and Expansion of cooperation – and he appears to be high hopes, to find in the policy hearing. At least the document had been voted on months, among other things, with the Berlin ministries. The Eastern Committee also relies on Heiko Maas (SPD): Even the foreign Minister had recently called for a “new Ostpolitik”, just “given the dangerous lack of communication between Washington and Moscow”.

15 “strategic topics”

The paper identifies 15 “strategic topics”, in which Germany and Russia might work more closely together, including the digitization of the economy, development of SMEs, and energy policy. Desirable is also a “common economic space” between the EU and Russia both economically and politically-dominated Eurasian economic Union.

“the goal of this cooperation is the widely used approach of the zero-sum game (an advantage of the opponent is overcome to my disadvantage – and Vice versa), and so new trust”, – stated in the document.

Also on the wish list of the economic: An intensification of the exchange between the two companies, for example, by the abolition of the visa obligation – if not for all the visitors from Russia, at least for young Russians under 25.

Encoded criticism

In the paper, the Eastern Committee is trying to strike a balance, the current areas of Conflict with Russia on the one hand, not to omit to keep the formulations, but at the same time so vague, that no one could interpret in Moscow as an Affront.

Of the annexation of the Crimea and Moscow, the election, influence in the USA Try not to talk, instead “of different assessments to Russia’s actions in Crimea” and as many notes on the table of the “continued reports on intelligence activities and cyber attacks are not now”.

After all: In the last paragraph, it is true, in particular, contrary to the EU will come “only growing game rooms can develop for the improvement of relations, if Russia acts accordingly, cooperative.” Clearer Kremlin criticism would probably be bad for business.

BEC