“Let me do a couple of comments”

In Krasnodar hot and stuffy. The Minister of foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel (Sigmar Gabriel) has arrived there to discover together with Sergey Lavrov of the Russian-German conference of twin cities. The next day he will travel to Moscow, where he held another meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Gabriel and Lavrov made in the theatre hall with short speeches, German foreign Minister praised the “bottom-up understanding of peoples” and that the social-Democrat tells of a youth exchange in 1980, which led him to the then Soviet Union, to Moscow and the then Leningrad.

And he recalls that the German Wehrmacht during the second world war many destroyed in the Krasnodar and committed “terrible crimes against the civilian population.” Gabriel, who in early June traveled to St. Petersburg and laid flowers to the monument to the fallen, praises hand, which the Russians handed the Germans after the war. This, they say, is a “treasure” that should keep his generation. In the hall in this place applause.

First harmony, then the verbal sparring

Then Lavrov and Gabrielle travel to the next room for the press conference. And what before looked so perfectly, moved after questions about NATO, Syria and Moscow in the war of words, which more clearly revealed the different positions on topical issues of world politics.

Lavrov, feared because of his detailed and lengthy statements at press conferences, verbose accuses the policy of the West towards Russia. He dedicates a few minutes to alleged use of chemical warfare agents 4th of April in the Syrian Khan Sheyhun what the West accuses the Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Moscow.

And finally, Lavrov speaks on the recent statements of the US administration, according to which Assad allegedly preparing a new attack using chemical warfare agents. He warns that such “provocations” could go “to the benefit of extremists” who blame it on the Syrian army.

Accusation: Russia underestimate the threat of the Assad regime

Gabriel looks as if he had heard it all. This is his third meeting with Lavrov, they are to each other. During their second bilateral meeting in Moscow in March they were exchanged in front of reporters with a verbal altercation. In Krasnodar, this exchange of blows continues, albeit in less severe form.

“Let me do a couple of comments,” says Gabriel after Lavrov ended their statements on Syria. “For us there is no doubt that this attack was made by Syrian regime,” says Gabriel. He, too, went into a rage. “Assad is for us a war criminal,” he says, it is necessary to negotiate, but “obviously, we don’t see him as someone you have to protect.” He rebuked his colleague that he believes the Assad government is “peaceful regime” against whom are being unfairly suspicious.

Lavrov listens to this with a straight face, which reflects 13 years and three months of his tenure. However, Gabriel, who became foreign Minister about five months ago, has game attack just as diplomatic flattery. He calls Lavrov, a man who “does not question the clarity of their positions,” and it allows “easy to discuss with him.”

“Naturally the different positions” in respect of NATO

During the press conference, Lavrov has repeatedly been expressed about the presence of NATO on the external border of Russia, and accused her of the fact that the rotation of NATO troops is nothing but a constant presence. NATO, they say, also refuses the Russian offer, which the military on both sides need to “put their cards on the table” and clearly indicate where the party concerned “is using its money and power” along the external borders of NATO.

Gabriel answered it. “The proposal of my colleagues to go to the Russian initiative are at least reasonable,” he says. Do not have to consider them “necessarily sufficient”, “but talking about it is necessary.” However, with regard to the NATO presence in the Baltic, that, according to him, “of course there are different points of view.” 4.5 thousand soldiers of NATO in the Baltic region are not “real potential for aggression,” says German foreign Minister and adds: “the Russian presence there, I believe much more impressive.”

Gabriel is campaigning for a lasting truce in Ukraine

Re also raised the issue of Ukraine. Gabriel hopes that this conflict will be talking us and Russian presidents at the summit Big twenty in Hamburg. Currently a truce between Ukrainians and Russians in Donbas largely observed — because of the harvest. “Bread truce is actually a good sign, but why it then does not continue,” says Gabriel. For his part, Lavrov once again urged compliance with the Minsk agreement.

At the end of an unusual press conference, Lavrov said that in diplomacy everything happens, in fact, like in real life and that “disagreement and annoyance do not give”. According to him, his German counterpart characterized by the “pragmatism” needed, they say, “dialogue on an equal footing”, which would be “based on equal interests.”