It is important to develop strategic partnership between Russia and Germany that has been built in the post-WWII years, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during the conference.
He admitted that there have been a lot of sharp turns in the relations between the two countries — from tragic pages to an impressive success, and stressed that countries should aim at continuing mutually beneficial cooperation and build an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding.
“Together, we have managed to achieve a historic post-war reconciliation and develop strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation over recent years. This is our common heritage, which I am sure we should cherish," Lavrov said during his welcoming speech, adding that the conference makes an important contribution to the creation of a climate of trust.
“[…] We have to respond cohesively through political, not punitive measures to change the attitude, change the development process,” von Fritsch said and admitted that the Ukrainian conflict has had a strong negative influence on Russian-German relations.
The Ukrainian conflict had started with protests on the Maidan Square which resulted in a coup d'etat and have led to a severe devastation of the country. The events have had a negative impact on relations between Russia and Western countries, with the latter repeatedly imposing sanctions against Russia due to its allegedly “aggressive” position in the conflict.