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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsSociety'Germany Has No Alternative to Good Relations with Russia Based on Mutual Understanding'

'Germany Has No Alternative to Good Relations with Russia Based on Mutual Understanding'

On 1st December students and teachers at HSE met the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Russian Federation, Rudiger von Fritsch.

HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov opened the discussion by pointing out the timeliness of this meeting to help understand current relations between the two countries and how they will develop, taking into account they could disagree on a number of issues.  

Rudiger von Fritsch said that Russo-German relations are difficult at the moment. However, ‘many bridges have been built’ over the last quarter of a century with all kinds of economic, trade and cultural links between the two countries and we should do all we can to maintain them.  

‘Germany has no alternative to good relations with Russia based on mutual understanding’, said the ambassador. He pointed to the importance of cultural and student exchange programmes and to the cross-over in study of Russian and German literature in both countries.

Rudiger von Fritsch talked a great deal about Russia and Germany’s economic ties, their investments and prospects. About 6,000 companies with German capital are working in Russia today. Russia has major investment potential as a country which German businessmen follow closely. The German economy is still committed to a long-term strategic partnership with Russia.

 Each of us must do his bit for peaceful coexistence in Europe

He emphasised for the future of positive relations between the two countries, it is absolutely essential to maintain dialogue and clarify German policy on certain issues.

In answer to a question from the hall on Germany and Syrian refugees - ‘Aren’t you worried about demographic and economic changes when Germany is taking in a million immigrants in just one year?’ the ambassador said, ‘Germany didn’t have a choice in the matter - How could we refuse to take the refugees? Build a wall? We have humanitarian obligations towards the victims of civil wars. Each of us must do his bit for peaceful coexistence in Europe.’

Second-year student at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Patimat Omarova, who is studying the way the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) impacts on investment processes inside the EU asked the ambassador what he thinks this partnership means for Russia. In reply the ambassador said regional and interregional mutually beneficial cooperation is the answer to globalisation, and that TTIP, like the EU, is an example of this.

Students from HSE St Petersburg joined in the meeting with the German ambassador via videolink. One of them, Anastasia Zubareva, asked him about the prospects for developing student exchange programmes between Russia and Germany. Ambassador von Fritsch said international politics determine the relations between countries but it is only students, academics, and young people getting to know one another that makes enduring friendship and for this reason, we need to increase the numbers of student exchange programmes.   

In conclusion, Rudiger von Fritsch said he was pleased with the one and a half hour conversation with HSE students, which German students and professors working at HSE also attended and promised to find time to come and talk to them again in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An international workshop, ‘Germany’s Transformation after its Unification: Current Situation and Lessons for Other Countries’ was held on September 12th and 13th, 2013 at the HSE. The workshop was organized by the HSE in collaboration with the Liberal Mission Foundation and with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.  

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