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    Christian Lindner of the Free Democratic party FDP

    German Free Democrats' Leader Wants Russia Back in G8 If Moscow Changes Policies

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    General Election in Germany 2017 (40)
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    Christian Lindner, the leader of Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) that has got 10.7 percent in Sunday's general election, has called for the resumption of the dialogue with Russia in the G8 format to check if Moscow is ready to change policies.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Christian Lindner stressed that "readiness for dialogue means that talks in the G8 format will be resumed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to determine whether he is ready to change policies."

    He added that it was impossible to lift sanctions against Russia unless the country were to take certain steps.

    "The FDP does not raise the question of whether to follow the proposal of the Foreign Minister of Germany [Sigmar Gabriel] on the issue of lifting the sanctions unilaterally, without reciprocal steps of Russia", Lindner said.

    Russia was sanctioned by the European Union and the United States in 2014 when the Ukrainian crisis broke out. Moscow responded by introducing a year-long food embargo on several imports from the countries that have targeted Russia with the restrictions, extending the current embargo several times.

    People at the Christian Democratic Union CDU headquarters react on first exit polls in the German general election (Bundestagswahl) in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2017
    © REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach
    People at the Christian Democratic Union CDU headquarters react on first exit polls in the German general election (Bundestagswahl) in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2017
    Germany held a general election on Sunday, after which a new government that could ease the sanctions regime was supposed to be formed and a chancellor elected.

    This year a total of 42 parties participated in the election. Nevertheless, the real competition was among six major parties: Chancellor Angela Merkel's bloc of Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by former EU Parliament President and Merkel's key rival Martin Schulz, the Green Party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Left Party and eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

    As a result of the elections, the CDU got 33 percent of votes, the SPD received 20.5 percent, while the AfD received 12.6 percent. The CDU/CSU receives 246 seats, SPD — 153. The AfD enters the parliament with 94 mandates, the FDP got 80 seats, The Left Party increases its presence up to 69 seats and the Green Party up to 67.

    Topic:
    General Election in Germany 2017 (40)

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    Tags:
    G8, European Union, Free Democratic Party (FDP), Sigmar Gabriel, Vladimir Putin, Germany
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