Fedor Lukyanov: Atmosphere of the Potsdam Conference has changed a lot during the year

06 June 2016

Chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy and editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Politics Fedor Lukyanov is drawing conclusions of the Potsdam Conference, which has completed in Berlin, in an interview to the Gorchakov Fund.


- It has been over half a year since prominent politicians, businessmen and respected experts from Russia and Germany gathered together at the seminar in Moscow. In your opinion, have there been any new ideas discussed compared to the previous Potsdam Conference?


- There is no doubt that the atmosphere of those meeting has changed. If last year the position of Germany looked solid enough and did not envisage any coming changes, now voices are heard that it is time to correct the course of the policy. I would like to remind that after beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, business lowered its voice and took a position of criticism in regards to the sanctions; however, it did not express itself understanding that it was pointless. Now, the business is coming back to the same level of volume it had before. That part of the German economy, which is interested in eastern markets, feels more comfortable. It was very obvious.


As for the new ideas, as always, there was a discussion if different kinds of non-governmental contacts – cultural, humanitarian – could bring improvements in a political sphere. Different opinions were expressed, but, mostly, nonetheless, positive.


To be honest, I had a different impression. Considering importance of all those contacts they, definitely, cannot substitute progress in politics. Though the dynamics itself, which is observed at the Potsdam Conference even during this year, demonstrates that constant dripping will wear away the stone . And that movement, definitely, needs to be continued.

A full text of the interview in Russian can be found here