09:02 GMT +311 December 2017
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    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with his Bavarian counterpart Horst Seehofer

    Setting a Good Example: Bavarian PM Travels to Meet Putin in Moscow

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    By traveling to Moscow, Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer is showing the necessity of maintaining communication with Russia, German newspaper Die Welt wrote.

    Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer is following in the footsteps of predecessor Franz Josef Strauss, who saw the importance of creating a dialogue with Moscow and piloted himself to meet Mikhail Gorbachev there in 1987, German newspaper Die Welt wrote on Sunday.

    "Franz Josef Strauss was not able to change the course of history with his visit, but he demonstrated to all that he was not traveling with horns and claws, and that relaxation (in relations) was not an empty word."

    Seehofer's trip will begin when he arrives in Moscow on Thursday with Edmund Stoiber, who was also Bavarian Prime Minister from 1993 to 2007 and is a member of the Presidium of the German-Russian Raw Materials Forum, a platform for the two countries to intensify their cooperation in the research, use and production of such commodities as oil, gas and metals.

    Seehofer announced his trip to Moscow in December, the shorter first of two visits he will make to the Russian capital this year. After receiving a briefing at the German embassy on Thursday, he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "We have enough to discuss: the refugees and the fight against the causes of migration, the security situation in many regions of the world and of course the connection with Ukraine and sanctions," Seehofer said in December.

    "One must ask, do we want to let sanctions run for an unlimited time? Or is it time to talk about it?" 

    "It is surely indisputable that Russia is needed to resolve crisis hotspots in the world," Seehofer said.

    "Back in Munich, Seehofer will not fail to report to the chancellor about his trip to the big wide world," Die Welt wrote on Sunday.

    "After years of negotiation with Iran, which without the Russians would scarcely have ended in success, the attitude of world powers is rotating towards pragmatism," the newspaper remarked, referring also to the Japanese Prime Minister and current G7 chairman Shinzo Abe's stated desire to visit Russia in 2016.

    "The demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Henry Kissinger coolly wrote, 'is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one'. That's how the wisest of realpolitikers described the White House's 'Punish Putin' strategy of denial."

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    sanctions, Horst Seehofer, Vladimir Putin, Germany, Bavaria
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