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20 Nov, 2009 11:21

Russia-Germany: strategic partners in Europe and Asia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has met with his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, who is on his first official visit to Moscow.

At a media briefing after the talks, Guido Westerwelle stressed in particular that the new German federal government is ready to continue the strategic partnership with Russia because it meets the interests of both parties.

Both ministers also made a statement that the Nord Stream gas pipeline project, so important for the whole European community, is advancing at an appropriate speed and both countries will continue to develop it.

Sergey Lavrov also said that “We have discussed the disarmament issues and Moscow welcomes the German decision to ratify the adoptive Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). He added that Russia is always open for discussion of that topic.

“Russia expects closer co-operation with NATO countries on Afghanistan,” Lavrov said, “to effectively develop a common strategy.”

According to Sergey Lavrov, that would mean the development of a collaboration between NATO forces in Afghanistan and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) forces, which regularly conduct operations against drug traffickers on Afghan borders.

RT political commentator Peter Lavelle pointed out that “these are the first events after getting a president of the EU, so this bilateral relationship goes on and this is the first test case in a way.” And although not enough time has passed to tell whether or not there was some real progress, “the German Foreign Minister is a very important person in Europe,” added Lavelle.

“[Germany] could be the most important relation Russia has in Europe right now and it is rock solid,” said Peter Lavelle.