• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Bavarian premier plans to pal around with Putin
Horst Seehofer outside St. Basil's church on Red Square in Moscow, 2011. Photo: DPA

Bavarian premier plans to pal around with Putin

DPA/The Local · 1 Feb 2016, 08:47

Published: 01 Feb 2016 08:47 GMT+01:00

Seehofer defended his plans to travel to Moscow on Thursday on ZDF television on Sunday evening, saying that "we're not running a parallel foreign policy in Germany".

But he has been fighting against harsh criticism from federal politicians in Berlin.

"Foreign policy is made in Berlin, not in Munich," MP and Social Democratic Party (SPD) foreign affairs spokesman Niels Annen told the Welt am Sonntag.

"Seehofer has positioned himself clearly against the Chancellor in the refugee debate – I hope that he will leave off this trip," Christian Democratic Union (CDU) foreign policy specialist and MP Roderich Kiesewetter told Welt am Sonntag.

Kiesewetter warned that Russia was co-operating with far-right parties in Germany in a bid to undermine opposition to Putin's foreign policy.

One recent example has been Russian TV's stoking of anger with TV news reports on the alleged rape of a young girl by refugees in Berlin.

Police said at the weekend that the girl had spent the night of the supposed rape at her boyfriend's house.

Russia experts told The Local earlier last week that Putin's propaganda machine was trying to blacken Europe's image with the Russian public and stoke unrest among Russian-speakers inside Germany and the EU.

Seehofer has form for using connections to foreign leaders as a means to put pressure on the government in Berlin.

Story continues below…

He invited right-wing populist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to a gathering of his Christian Social Union (CSU) party – traditionally the conservative Bavarian allies of Merkel's CDU – in September 2015.

Orban used the occasion to blast Merkel for "moral imperialism" after Germany criticized Hungary's construction of a border fence to shut out refugees.  

SEE ALSO: Busload of refugees to be sent straight back to Bavaria

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Chancellor Angela Merkel showing up French President François Hollande in a neighbourly battle of table manners. Photo: DPA.

Despite what stereotypes might have you believe, Germans aren't that different from the rest of us when it comes to social interactions. But these tips should at least help guide you through the minor quirks that come with your next dinner invitation.

Thugs' ‘dream cop’ in court for not investigating 100 cases
Fans at a VfL Bochum match set off flares. Photo: DPA

For three years a police officer in western Germany simply ignored many of the cases he was supposed to investigate. His trial started on Tuesday in Bochum.

Police arrest suspect in murder of Chinese student
Police secure the crime scene where Yanjie Lie's body was found on May 13th. Photo: DPA

Police have made an arrest in the case of a Chinese student murdered while she was out jogging a week ago, media reported on Tuesday.

Berlin thief shows heart in surprising act of kindness
Photo: DPA

Pickpockets are an ever more common phenomenon in the German capital. But sometimes they can surprise you.

Bayer's Monsanto bid
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
An anti-Monsanto activist at a protest in Brandenburg in 2014. Photo: DPA

A proposed tie-up between Bayer and Monsanto has inflamed opinion in Germany where most people oppose genetically modified foods.

Why Greece is top of Germany's to-do list - again
Unemployed Greek workers with symbolically chained hands march on May 1st in Athens. Photo: DPA

Greece has been in the headlines more often this year for its front-line role in the refugee crisis than its finances – so just why is it top of Germany's agenda again all of a sudden?

Far-right AfD turns on itself over failed Muslim meeting
Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party has criticized his party colleagues after talks with Muslim leaders collapsed after just an hour on Monday.

Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
BMW's headquarters in Munich. Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital leaves other German cities in the dust when it comes to where the highest-valued companies choose to plant their flag.

Bavaria tries to coax migrants into police force
Joachim Herrmann (cr) with police recruits in Nuremberg. Photo: DPA

Bavaria’s interior ministry has started a campaign to encourage more migrants to join up as officers of the law - whether they have a German passport or not.

Extremist violence 'exploded' in record year for refugees
Left-wing violence at the Blockupy protest in Frankfurt in March 2015. Photo: DPA.

It is now official: 2015 smashed all records for political violence, as the far right attacked refugee homes and the far left responded by attacking them in turn, Interior Ministry figures show.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Business & Money
Surprise results give Germany strongest growth in two years
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Munich
The bloody knife attack that shocked a Bavarian town
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
Culture
The 6 German words you need to know for spring
Culture
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
Hamburg
Gay penguins move to Hamburg to settle down
Business & Money
See-through €5 coin has collectors lining up
Health
Vegan hemp powder recalled over fear toddlers getting high
7,703
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd