"For AfD it is totally clear that Russia is no rival, it is a partner. And we say we have to have a common peaceful European policy and we have to scrap the separation between East and West and to start a new chapter in our relations," Gauland said.
In July, Germany is due to publish an updated white paper on security policy with media speculating that Russia would be named a rival rather than a partner. In particular, the German newspaper Die Welt reported in early June that Russia has allegedly been mentioned among the ten most serious threats to Germany in the updated version of the country’s security policy guidelines.
The current version of the White Paper, approved in 2006, lists Russia as "a priority partner."
The AfD currently has seats in eight of the 16 local parliaments and is among several European parties that is calling for the anti-Russia sanctions, imposed by the European Union in 2014 over the situation in Ukraine, to be scrapped as they are counterproductive and harmful to the German economy.