German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the model of Russia’s behavior are currently “hybrid war and destabilization.” She stated this in an interview with six European publications: the British newspaper The Guardian, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the French Le Monde, the Spanish La Vanguardia, Italian La Stampa and Polish Polityce.
So, answering the question whether Germany is underestimating the threat from Russia, Merkel said: “We recognize that hybrid warfare and methods of destabilization are the model of behavior on the part of Russia”.
As an example of this behavior, the Chancellor cited the murder of a former Chechen warlord Zelimkhan khangoshvili in Berlin last summer.
At the same time, according to Merkel, “there are good reasons to continue a constructive dialogue with Russia.” In particular, she stressed that in Syria and Libya, in the immediate proximity to Europe, “strategic influence of Russia is great”. The German leader added that for this reason would “continue to cooperate”.
Relations between Russia and the West significantly deteriorated in 2014 after Russia invaded the Crimea and the beginning of armed aggression in the Donbas. The European Union has introduced several packages of sanctions against Russia. Merkel has repeatedly noted that the restrictive measures will act to stop the aggression.