The 18th “Petersburg Dialogue” is being adopted by Germany with a scale that was not there after the turning point of 2014. Then, against the background of the annexation of the Crimea and the war in Donbas, the forum created by the initiative of President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was canceled. In subsequent years, there was a slow convergence.
The speeches of Sergey Lavrov and Heiko Mas showed both the desire of Moscow and Berlin to “cooperate as a leitmotif for a peaceful Europe” (this is the motto of the forum), as well as the remaining differences. Mas reiterated the position of the German government that it was necessary to talk with Russia, despite the disagreements, first of all with regard to Ukraine. At the same time, the head of the German Foreign Ministry sees a new chance to move the Minsk process to settle against the background of the election of a new president, Vladimir Zelensky, a withdrawal of forces in the Village of Lugansk, and an armistice agreement on July 21, when Ukraine will hold early parliamentary elections.
In turn, Lavrov noted that “there are shifts,” but Kyiv must fulfill the Minsk agreements in the first place. The most balanced on the first day of the forum seemed to be Roland Pofally’s speech. On the one hand, the forum co-chair supported the idea of strengthening the d