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German election results ‘not the most encouraging’ for improving relations between Berlin & Moscow – top Russian policymaker

That’s according to Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament.

Kosachev wrote his views on Facebook on Monday morning, following the release of the preliminary results from Germany. The European Union’s biggest country went to the polls on Sunday, marking the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign as chancellor.

The winner of the election, with 25.7% of the vote, is the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), led by Olaf Scholz. However, because neither faction won a majority, the SPD must make an agreement with other groups in parliament.

On Monday morning, Scholz announced his intention to form a “social, environmental, liberal” coalition with the Greens and the centrist Free Democratic Party (FDP). Combined, the SPD (206), Greens (118) and FDP (92) will have 416 seats, over half of the Bundestag’s 735 seats.

“What does it all mean to Russia? Given that according to a German tradition, a minor coalition partner usually gets to appoint the foreign minister, the chances are that we will have to deal with a top diplomat from Greens or the Free Democrats,” Kosachev said.

“Clearly, it’s not the most encouraging foreign policy outlook, though much will depend on the chancellor, too.”

Following a German election, negotiating a coalition government can often take months, with junior parties often demanding a high price. After the September 2017 vote, it took until March 2018 to make an agreement. This time, with the Green Party performing so well, it is likely that they will ask for senior cabinet positions.

“Today’s Greens are not the anti-establishment rebels of the ‘90s who advocated for the dissolution of NATO. Now they are an ultra-systemic party pursuing new ethics and militant radical liberalism,” Kosachev said, noting that the Greens have taken a “sharply anti-Russian position.”

The senator noted, however, that the Free Democrats have a history of pragmatism in leadership, particularly noting that former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher served “during the periods of rapprochement between our country and Germany.”

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