Yeah, it's pretty complicated. If you think of Russia in Germany and now, you don't know where to start. With this beautiful German woman who once called herself Tsarina Ekaterina? In the first World War? Or is it in the second? In the hard, cold, real GDR times? Or do you have to start with Fyodor Dostoyevsky? Because Dostoevsky had seen in Germany what it is still about and almost two hundred years later. At that time he was in Dresden, wrote to his niece: “You need an awful lot of heating material, but it doesn't get warm. The Germans would rather freeze to death than take over the ovens from the Russians. Russia is hated here. ”That's how it was then. But now everything is different. Germany’s energy policy is different now, as Russians provide around half of its natural gas needs.Which leads to the following questions: Is Russia still hated in Germany? And how will this country relate to Dostoyevsky's birthplace in the future? Or even more up-to-date and impatiently asked: How do Annalena Baerbock, Olaf Scholz and Armin Laschet see Russia? How did you see it earlier, when you were not yet a fight for the Chancellery? And how do you feel about this man who - as Joe Biden thinks - encourages people to kill other people? To the Kremlin ruler Putin?who - as Joe Biden thinks - encourages people to kill other people? To the Kremlin ruler Putin?who - as Joe Biden thinks - encourages people to kill other people? To the Kremlin ruler Putin?

Anna Prizkau

Editor in the features section.

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    "The Russian President beats up people who take to the streets for free elections or for the rights of lesbians and gays," Annalena Baerbock said on a summer day in 2019 in the world. At that time there was no poisoned or imprisoned Navalnyj, but there were many others who were poisoned, murdered and locked away in Russia. And there was the Petersburg Dialogue in Koenigswinter a month before the interview with Baerbock. Sergei Lavrov, the gloomy, flagpole-sized, lyric-loving Foreign Minister of Russia also came - and Armin Laschet had received him, said that "even in tense times" an exchange should "stay alive", but that what separates it must be addressed. "Russia is important to Europe," said Laschet, later shaking Lavrov's hand and smiling the way Laschet always smiles: dear.

    "We have to speak plainly with Russia"

    To cut the sentences of that summer, Baerbock's and Laschet's, against each other like this is unfair, clear. Because Armin Laschet was and still is the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2019, and his CDU in the federal government; the Greens were in opposition. Perhaps Annalena Baerbock would have had to take off her high-neck leather jacket, put on a blazer and shake Sergei Lavrov's huge hand, had the last coalition negotiations turned out differently. If the Greens had come into government at that time, they too would have had to stand up for photos with diplomatic and dictatorial visitors. And it is not as if Armin Laschet does not criticize the Kremlin - he is now doing that louder and louder. Last year he said in the picture: “We have to speak plainly with Russia (...) Russia is the aggressor in Crimea, that is obvious. ”Since then he has said that again and again. Yes, it used to be milder.

    But before Laschet's past, you have to look at Olaf Scholz's then, what he said about Russia that summer two years ago. Not much in interviews. There was a reason for this: It was hard days, weeks, months for him and for the SPD. And Scholz, who was already gesturing helplessly with his clenched fist when speaking, had to fight. There was a big argument in his SPD. Three red Prime Ministers - Manuela Schwesig, Stephan Weil and Dietmar Woidke - no longer found Russia so bad or international law no longer so important and wanted to soften the sanctions against Moscow like Russians had cookies in their tea. Why? Because they dreamed of Egon Bahr's “change through rapprochement” in the old SPD? No, it was probably becausethat that year there were state elections in the east and very few East German voters were in favor of the sanctions. So Scholz tried to reconcile, and some peace came - not in Ukraine, only in the SPD.