Russia hopes for dialogue, Poland for a liberal foreign minister, Austria divided – reactions to federal elections.
(dpa/sso/fkt). Who in the future will lead the most populous and economically powerful country in the European Union? In other capitals and at EU institutions in Brussels, preliminary talks on forming a new federal government will be closely watched. Initial reactions to the close result of Sunday’s election were very different. Overview:
United States of America
“Donnerwetter…You’re consistent” — with these words US President Joe Biden commented on Sunday on reports of the Social Democrats’ advance in the federal election. The world’s most powerful president is unlikely to have problems with Chancellor Olaf Schultz. Both politicians recently celebrated, for example, the breakthrough in imposing a global minimum tax on internationally active companies as a huge success. Russia
After the general elections, the Kremlin showed interest in expanding relations. “We are united by the understanding that problems can only be solved through dialogue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency as saying in Moscow on Monday. Politician Alexei Mochin told BZ: It is likely that Berlin’s policy towards Russia will remain pragmatic, regardless of whether the SPD or CDU will provide the new chancellor. As under Merkel, the German economy will set the agenda for relations with Russia.
But Angela Merkel’s successor to the chancellorship will have a difficult legacy. Relations between Berlin and Moscow are currently very tense, due to, among other things, hacker attacks on German politicians and the imprisonment of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny. Russia in particular should fear opposition to the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline operation on the Baltic Sea.
“We hope and expect that the new German government will continue its pragmatic and balanced policy toward China.” Without directly congratulating any party, Beijing expressed its hope for continued good cooperation with Germany after the general elections. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the commitment of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), who has placed great emphasis on developing relations with the People’s Republic of China during her tenure, was expressly acknowledged. “China appreciates this very much,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. The previous weekend, China’s state newspaper, the Global Times, captured the memories of Angela Merkel’s past 16 years in an utterly warm way: In a huge graphic, it reviewed the former chancellor’s visits to China. Ahead of the election, observers in China expressed fears that relations could deteriorate under a new federal government, and that Germany would turn more toward the United States, which is forming an international alliance against Beijing.
The conservative nationalist PiS government in Warsaw is particularly pleased with the liberals’ good performance. “The FDP will win the scale, which is excellent news for us,” said Poland’s ambassador to Berlin, Andrej Przybyski. The party’s foreign ministers – such as Hans-Dietrich Genscher – have always been good for Poland. So whether the new government is led by the SPD or the CDU doesn’t make much difference. “With regard to the SPD, there is a fear of intense sympathy for Russia, but this is more to do with the leadership of the party than with Schultz,” Przylbyski said. The Greens are more cautious about Russia – which is good for Poland.
In contrast to Austria’s Social Democrats, Greens and liberals, conservative Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz was cautious after the general election. “The election result in Germany allows for a wide variety of constellations and the coming weeks will show who will be the future chancellor of Germany,” Sebastian Kurz said on Monday. Before the elections, the Austrian VP and the head of the government warned of a left-wing alliance that, in his opinion, would change Germany and Europe for the worse.
There was initially no reaction from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the results of the German elections. But Social Democratic Labor Party Chairman Keir Starmer congratulated Olaf Schultz and spoke of an inspiring campaign.
“Communicator. Entrepreneur. Introvert. Passionate problem solver. Organizer. Social media ninja.”