The delegation of the State Duma went to Thuringia upon the invitation of the Chairman of the deputy’s group on German-Russian inter-parliamentary relations of the German Bundestag, Robby Schlund, to discuss the prospects for regional cooperation.
Welcoming the Russian parliamentarians, ober-burgomaster of Gera Julian Vonarb said that East Thuringia has historically been associated with Russia for many centuries: even in the 8th century, Germanic and Slavic tribes coexisted there. In the Soviet era, in Thuringia, the first Soviet-German joint-stock company, which worked in the raw materials sector, appeared. Today, East Thuringia also actively maintains economic ties with Russia, and therefore is interested in reducing tensions in political relations that hinder mutually beneficial business, he added.
According to Robby Schlund, who represents the interests of the region in the German Bundestag, it is difficult to find supporters of sanctions against Russia among local residents, since local business suffers from such sanctions.
Coordinator of the inter-parliamentary relations group with Germany, Chairman of the Committee on Energy Pavel Zavalnyi Zavalnyi
Pavel Nikolaeviсh noted that, despite the political difficulties, it is now safe to say that the ”freezing“ of the economic cooperation between Russia and Germany has already been partially overcome.
He reminded that in 2017, the growth of trade turnover between the countries amounted to 23%, this year it is already 15%. And the regions make a significant contribution to this growth. Therefore, Russian parliamentarians, who also represent various regions of the Russian Federation, advocate the development of interregional ties.
“For successful economic cooperation, mutual understanding, on which trust is based, is needed. Therefore, the main goal of our visit, of all the meetings scheduled for these few days is to ensure that trust between Russian and German politicians of different levels is increasing,” said Pavel Zavalnyi.