MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is hoping to enter parliament for the first time after Sunday's federal election, is the only German party capable of orienting the country's foreign policy toward a more independent approach, balancing bilateral ties with both Russia and the United States, Waldemar Birkle, a party candidate, told Sputnik.
"As for the relations with the United States, [after the election in Germany] almost nothing will change. Germany is not sovereign here under Trump or any other president. Only when AfD enters the government the relations with the United States and Russia will be balanced," Birkle said.
The German politician also stressed that Russia’s support for UN peacekeeping mission in Ukraine's region of Donbass might provide a good opportunity to mend ties and improve relations between Russia and Europe. He urged Berlin to persuade Kiev to respect international law and the Minsk accords so as to end the conflict.
"I think there are forces which are not interested in settlement in Ukraine. There are people, who profit from turmoil and warfare. Germany should for sure apply a harder approach to Kiev. Russia cannot bring about peace alone. And I do not believe that Russia is interested in instability near its border," Birkle said.
On Russian Interference in The Election
The concerns of some German politicians over possible interference in the election process in the country are exaggerated, Waldemar Birkle, one of the candidates for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, told Sputnik.
"Cybercrimes should be seriously addressed. As for Russian interference, in this case in the elections, I think it is exaggerated," Birkle said.
Media reports about Russia's alleged interference in foreign elections began appearing during the US 2016 presidential campaign. The outgoing administration and the US intelligence community had claimed, albeit without proof, that Russia meddled in the November vote.
On Possible Alliance Between Merkel's CDU and FDP
Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, will both come out of Sunday's federal election lacking the votes needed to secure a majority in the parliament and form a governing coalition, a candidate for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is on track to enter the German Bundestag for the first time, told Sputnik.
"I don't think that [Merkel's] CDU and FDP will receive enough votes to form a coalition," Waldemar Birkle said.
A poll released by the Emnid public opinion research company on Saturday showed a slight dip in support for the CDU/CSU to 36 percent, followed by the Social Democratic Party (SPD), led by Merkel's main rival Martin Schulz, supported by 22 percent of the respondents. The FDP stands to gain 9 percent of the vote, according to this poll.
Waldemar Birkle said he believed his party was set to lead the opposition in the parliament after the elections, stressing that AfD is the only right-wing party which, as of today, represents conservative voters abandoned by Merkel’s Christian Democrats in pursuit of voters from the left.
"The CDU has generally changed its course massively and moved strongly to the left in order to benefit also from the voices of the SPD and Green Voters. The party itself describes this as modernization. In reality, the conservative voters were abandoned. We, the AfD, are the voice of these citizens," Birkle stressed.
The AfD candidate pointed out that for a long time there had been favoritism toward CDU and SPD which is evidenced by the fact that only Merkel and Schulz have participated in televised debates so far.
"The population thinks as if there are only these two parties [CDU, SPD]. It indicates less democracy and more propaganda in favor of the big parties," Birkle said.
The Germans will choose members of the 630-seat Bundestag this Sunday. The parliament will then elect the federal chancellor, who, in turn, will be able to form a government. The chancellor needs an absolute majority to be elected.