22:53 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Germany needs Russian assistance to ensure peace in Europe, regardless of who is in charge in Moscow, says Gregor Gysi, parliamentary leader of Germany's Die Linke party.

    Germany Needs Russia to Ensure Peace Regardless Who's in Charge -Politician

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    Germany needs Russian assistance to ensure peace in Europe, regardless of who is in charge in Moscow, says Gregor Gysi, the parliamentary leader of Germany's Die Linke (The Left) party.

    In an interview published by Der Tagesspiegel on Saturday, Gysi noted that while he maintains a critical attitude toward both Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama, he believes that the policy of sanctions against Russia is an incorrect one.

    "I have clearly expressed my criticism of Putin; however, sanctions were the wrong action to take," Gysi noted. In his words, Germany needs to cooperate with Russia, because it is "the largest and most powerful country militarily in Europe. We can achieve peace only with Russia's help, regardless of who is president."

    Commenting on German-US relations, Gysi stated that Germany is not given mutual respect by Washington, and that Germany's current leadership is doing nothing to change this state of affairs. Noting that he enjoys traveling to the US, Gysi said that a real friendship between the two countries requires mutual respect, and this is not something current German Chancellor Angela Merkel has endeavored to achieve. Gysi called the chancellor's policy in relation to the US "compliant and meek."

    Speaking about the prospects for a coalition government with the Social Democrats and the Green Party following the 2017 elections, Gysi noted that such a possibility would necessitate a change of mood among the population, along with negotiations with the two parties on several key issues, including pension and tax policy, as well as the issue of foreign policy interventionism.

    Gysi stated that his party is categorically opposed to German intervention in conflicts like those in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. He also voiced his opposition to supplying certain countries and regions with advanced German weaponry. "If we can make it so that geopolitical hot spots and countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are no longer supplied with weapons or tanks, this would be a significant step forward," Gysi noted. "Of course, we must also realize that we are ten-percent party, not a 50-percent party," he added, meaning that Die Linke's initiatives cannot on their own determine policy in this area.

    Gysi is a co-leader of Die Linke, a German opposition party which emerged from the former East Germany's ruling Socialist Unity Party, reforming its ideology from communism to democratic socialism in the process.


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