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Foreign policy : Friendly greetings to Moscow

The Meeting of the extended SPD leadership at the beginning of February might not be only for Andrea Nahles, but also for Heiko Maas, a sensitive appointment. The party leader must prove to the beginning of the year retreat of the party Executive in four weeks, if you can meet the high expectations she has aroused with the promise of a farewell to Hartz IV and a profound Reform of the social system.

The foreign Minister is likely to be demands from within its own ranks to change key elements of its policy or repairing the goods. Both the party base as also important members of Parliament criticises the fact that the foreign Minister of acting in a social democratic enough, and, therefore, the party helps a little. The SPD is not therefore of its good Popularity.

Already on the Executive Board meeting in mid-December, prominent SPD had representatives urges behind closed doors, a clear social-democratic handwriting on the field of international relations. Now representatives of the party's left wing, openly calling distinctive social-democratic accents in the foreign policy and criticize, in this context, the Russia policy of the foreign Minister. Maas had disturbed many Enjoyed with his hard line against Russia, and also stated that it was not because of Willy Brandt, but because of Auschwitz in the policy. So he distanced himself, indirectly, by the Ostpolitik of Willy Brandt, which is regarded by many socialists as a model for the present.

Also party Vice Ralf Stegner, the leader of the left wing, in the debate on foreign policy. "We have to ask ourselves, what can Germany do, in order to set a good example," he says. This is not about Germany playing "top teachers of other countries". "But we can sit in the peace and disarmament policy, as well as questions of global justice a significant social-democratic accents," says Stegner.

profiling in the European election

Deputy Chairman of The SPD group in the Bundestag, parliamentary group Deputy Rolf Mützenich, warns, in view of the armament, chauvinism, and volatility-induced uncertainty in international politics, "in principles and clarity-oriented foreign policy of the SPD has to point out Alternatives." A recognizable social-democratic handwriting in the foreign policy "would also be an opportunity to raise its profile in the beginning of the European election campaign ends," added mützenich, member of the parliamentary Left.

Stegner and Mützenich put theses into the room, running on a course correction of the Russia policy of the Maas. Not a single Problem in Europe and a few problems in the world could be without Russia to solve, says Stegner: "we must Therefore intensify the contact and not the rate increase. Nothing is better, because we worsen our relations with Russia.“

During the Meuse sought about in the crisis, the poisoning of the Russian Ex - agent Skripal in the UK, in a tight shoulder-to-shoulder with the Western allies, is Stegner of the opinion that Germany should try to make better economic relations with Russia. "The policy of sanctions of the EU against Russia is not the end-all," says the party's Deputy: "This is not a plea for a German alone, but we need a more effective strategy for dealing with Russia." Also group Vice Mützenich calls to overcome the gap between Russia and Europe. The new year offer many opportunities for an active disarmament policy, it will help.

Strict requirements set out in the coalition agreement

The foreign policy spokesman of the SPD group in the Bundestag, Nils Schmid, the Russia policy of the Minister for foreign Affairs, defended recently in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", among others with the Argument that a new Generation of go other ways than, for example, Gerhard Schroeder, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Sigmar Gabriel, for their patience with and understanding for Moscow is known and, according to Schmid on the success of personal relationships built. "We should not make the deal with Russia a Generation", by contrast, holds Stegner. The bipolar world no longer existed for almost 30 years, this have nothing to do with the experience of a new Generation. The party's Deputy searches for the shoulder-to-shoulder with those social democratic foreign politicians, of which Schmid and Maas delimit: "Good relations are in international issues is very useful, you should not discredit."

dissatisfaction prevails in the SPD, the Grand coalition maintains, apparently with the approval of the SPD-ministries a rather lax in dealing with the provision of the coalition agreement, according to which directly on the Yemen war, participating countries no German arms exports more. Stegner and Mützenich speak clearly in favour of the arms export policy of strict to be interpreted, as the Federal government and her foreign Minister are currently doing.

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The SPD should be proud of the strict requirements set out in the coalition agreement, said mützenich. The must now follow a "strict practice". The SPD should make it clear that "it is not allowed to give arms exports to war zones and regions of Tension", also calls for Stegner: "I am of the opinion that German arms exports to Saudi-Arabia or Egypt, forbidding in these times – and I'm sure that the majority of the SPD thinks the same." Also the question of how it keeps the party of Willy Brandt with arms exports, and whether the room for manoeuvre of the foreign Minister, is concentrated by means of new decisions, has to answer the Board exam at the beginning of February.

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