Wladimir Grinin

In Berlin, Hints of a Russian Thaw

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The Russian ambassador’s statements about a potential thaw in U.S.-Russian relations could signal a growing reapproachment between East and West that could lead to coordinated solutions on Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.

  • Facts


    • The Russian Ambassador to Germany, Wladimir Grinin, has been a diplomat in Germany since the early 1970s for the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation.
    • Mr. Grinin said recent cooperation with the United States over the situation in Syria has improved and there is reason for optimism that a joint solution can be found.
    • In the interview, Mr. Grinin warned against the spread of “hegemonic ambitions” and the “spread of spheres of influence,” a reference to NATO’s eastern expansion.
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Mr. Ambassador, trade between Germany and Russia has suffered as a result of the economic sanctions imposed on your country because of Crimea. What is the status of the German-Russian business relationship and do you see it improving?

Indeed, Russian-German commercial and economic relations are facing hard times at the moment.

From the record-breaking €80.8 billion in 2012, mutual trade between the countries dropped by 40 percent to €51 billion in 2015. Unfortunately, this negative dynamic has continued and during the first two months of 2016, the amount of trade between the two countries dropped by 10 percent. But I hope that although now we are still in the near future, the foundation of our relations will remain as solid as it always has been.

wladimir grinin 2014 in kronberg im taunus near frankfurt source dpa
Wladimir Grinin, Russia’s ambassador to Germany since 2010, has spent nearly five decades as a diplomat in Germany for Russia and the former Soviet Union. He first came to Bonn as a Soviet diplomat in 1971. Source: DPA


Besides, we are always saying in Russia: There is always a silver lining. This means that regarding the cheap ruble right now, in any case, it was greatly appreciated by the producers. That is why they are coming to Russia. They are producing there actively and then sending off for export. We’re also trying to intensify the cooperation between the governmental institutions and we are hoping that in the near future we will see the resumption of activities of the Russian-German High Level Task Force on strategic issues of cooperation in economy and finance. It has already functioned. So the hope is there and I have heard this opinion from many of those involved.

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