Vladimir Putin wants “Constructive” ties with new German leader: Kremlin

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

Moscow, December 8: Russian President Vladimir Putin wants “constructive” ties with Germany’s new leader Olaf Scholz and hopes for continuity in relations between the two countries, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

“We are counting on continuity, on the fact that constructive relations will develop between the president and the new chancellor, that the German side will continue to proceed from the understanding that there is no alternative to dialogue to resolve the most difficult differences,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
He said Putin would send a congratulatory telegram to Scholz.
Earlier Wednesday, the German parliament elected Scholz as chancellor, turning the page on 16 years with Angela Merkel at the helm as a new centre-left-led coalition takes the wheel of Europe’s top economy.
The incoming government has pledged a tougher line with authoritarian states such as Russia after the business-driven pragmatism of the Merkel years.
Despite their bitter differences, Merkel and Putin, who speak each other’s languages, managed to keep talking throughout the outgoing German leader’s years in office.
Merkel was a proponent of direct talks with Putin and her ambivalent stance on Russia also frequently alienated partners, particularly in eastern Europe.
She angered them especially with the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline set to carry Russian gas to Germany, which several eastern European countries believe will embolden Moscow at their expense.

Germany imports around 40 percent of its gas from Russia and is set to receive even more via Nord Stream 2, a project that has raised US concerns, divided Europe and angered EU ally Ukraine. (AFP)