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    Russia-Germany relations will not change after election - expert

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    MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russian-German relations will remain good, even if the current German government is replaced, a senior researcher with Russia's Institute of Europe told a RIA Novosti news conference today.

    Igor Maksimychev said, "No dramatic changes should be expected in Russia-Germany relations, even if Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union wins the September elections."

    The expert said that although Merkel had declared Russophobic views in public, "her statements should be considered in light of the election campaign."

    "Stability in Europe will largely depend on Russian-German relations, and good relations are in Germany's interests," Maksimychev said.

    He added that objectively Russia and Germany's interests coincided, which was something Merkel could not ignore.

    He said that a possible initial chill in bilateral relations would quickly give way to normalcy, with the Russian-German geo-strategic partnership continuing all the way through.

    Maksimychev also said, "Economic ties between the two countries will remain at the same high level." He added that relations between Russia and Germany were too important for Europe to be put at risk.

    Last Friday, July 1, the German parliament passed a vote of no confidence in the German chancellor. Gerhard Schroeder initiated the vote himself in a bid to call early elections on September 18.

    The need for early elections came after the ruling Social-Democratic Party suffered a crushing defeat in local elections in North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany's largest and the most industrialized land.

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