As German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to defend her office against what promises to be a tough campaign, Russia – as was the case in recent American presidential elections – has been dragged into the fray. The Kremlin is “perfectly aware” that anti-Russian rhetoric in Germany has been ratcheting up “in the past weeks and even months,” presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists prior to Putin’s talks with Merkel on Thursday. With an election season in Germany right around the corner, some politicians see an opportunity to exploit German-Russian relations for their own political interests.
Due to this volatile political atmosphere, Peskov noted that “demands have been addressed to Mrs. Merkel by Bundestag members and others on asking (Russian President Vladimir) Putin some questions concerning human rights and democracy.” If questions regarding human rights are brought up, the president will provide “ample explanations” on any issue that may need to be clarified, Peskov said.
Meanwhile, the press secretary added that the Russian leader, in turn, “will pose his own questions.”
“Pre-election battles” are gradually unfolding in Germany, he said.
While not explicitly mentioning the volatile US presidential race, which saw the Barack Obama’s Republican challenger call Russia “America’s number one geopolitical foe,” Peskov lamented that “just as in other countries, some individuals [in Germany] are likely to try to exploit relations with Germany’s closest partners to gain extra points.” We do not like to see Russian-German relations used in such a way, the Kremlin spokesman said.