France and Germany are the key figures in the European policy toward Russia; however, the approaches of these countries are slightly different and politically diversified as it is stated in ‘Beyond ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ Putin’ article published by DGAP think tank.
According to the article, the deterioration of the relations between Russia and the West has a historical and ideological background and numerous reasons, particularly the annexation of Crimea.
The special attention was given to Ukraine’s issue, including the fulfillment of the points of the Minsk Agreement by Russia.
The article states that in both France and Germany, the general public is by and large skeptical of Vladimir Putin and his policies. However, taking into account the political realm, In Germany, there is an approach that might be qualified as ‘mainstream’. While the French debate, in turn, is highly fragmented.
The German political establishment continues to emphasize multilateralism and a rules-based international order. In France, the 2017 presidential campaign has shown considerable differences between – and sometimes even within – political parties. These differences continue to exist, and are even likely to deepen.
Within the current situation, it is stated that beyond the Ukrainian issue, the relations with Russia should go through some changes in the future. Talking about France, it seems that the country ‘should first and foremost be determined by French and mutual interests that will be determined later’. Germany, in its turn, will be between ‘the realizing that ‘business as usual’ is not an option and the desire to return to a normsbased order’.
Read the full article here.