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    Elections in Germany, France in 2017 May Facilitate Russia–EU Dialogue

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    German lawmaker Alexander Neu stated that elections in France and Germany may assist the progress in dialogue between the European Union and Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The presidential elections in France and the federal elections in Germany in 2017 may assist the progress in dialogue between the European Union and Russia, German lawmaker Alexander Neu told Sputnik at the Potsdam Meetings international conference organized by the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the German-Russian Forum.

    "I believe that 2017 will be a lost year for diplomacy. In 2017, Germany as well as France will hold elections. Further steps towards each other will depend on the escalation of the conflicts. Besides, if current conflicts are not solved, I do not anticipate any drastic changes," Neu, who is also the chairman of the German parliamentary committee on defense, said.

    Since 2014, relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. The United States, the European Union and some of their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions after Crimea's reunification with Russia and Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

    Horst Teltschik, former German national security adviser agreed that elections in those countries may stall a rapprochement with Moscow.

    "There is one obstacle now as German and France are looking forward to the election next year. In the year before elections, everybody is concentrating on campaigning. Therefore, we have to wait for the elections," Teltschik, who also chaired the Munich Conference on Security Policy, told Sputnik on the sidelines of the international conference in Moscow.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following the Potsdam Meetings that Russia and the West needed to improve their relations, and Moscow was ready to make a step in this direction.

    Germans will vote in the federal election in 2017. The next French presidential elections will be held in April and May, 2017.

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    European Union, Horst Teltschik, Alexander Neu, Germany, France, Russia
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