Gregor Gysi, the foreign policy spokesman for the party Die Linke, has spoken out in favor of lifting EU sanctions against Russia. Gysi demanded that Europe move towards Russian President Putin and make him an offer. He granted the Federal Government a leadership role. One had to mention non-democratic characteristics and utter clear demands. For example, Russia should refrain from supporting right-wing groups in Europe. On the subject of the annexed Crimean peninsula, Germany and Russia would have to agree to disagree. Nevertheless, good relationships are possible, Gysi said.
Meanwhile, the Bundestag member Link (FDP), a leading member of the German-Russian parliamentary group, criticized that neither the OSCE nor the Council of Europe were invited to the Russian constitutional referendum. The Russian opposition barely had access to the media, he said.
The Kremlin, on the other hand, spoke of a triumph for President Vladimir Putin during the constitutional referendum. According to Russian official information, the constitutional changes were accepted with 78 percent of the vote with a participation of 65 percent. The Russian president can now apply for two more terms and, in theory, rule Russia up until 2036.