Germany confirms new ambassador to Russia this summer
Updated Jun 22, 2023
Germany will replace its ambassador to Russia this summer, a spokesperson of the German Federal Foreign Office said.
The Russian Federation has granted approval for the appointment of the 56-year-old Alexander Graf Lambsdorff of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) to become the next ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, the spokesperson added on Wednesday.
The position is considered one of the most challenging diplomatic jobs in Germany. Lambsdorff told the magazine Das Parlament that he would take over the ambassadorship "in the awareness that political relations with Russia are currently in a very difficult phase".
As Vice-Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag (lower house of parliament), Lambsdorff has worked at the German Federal Foreign Office, with experience in German embassy in Washington, D.C., and in the Russia section of the Federal Foreign Office.
From 2004 to 2017, he was also a member of the European Parliament, Xinhua news agency reported.
Lambsdorff had "good experience in foreign policy," Stefan Meister, a Russia expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations, said to Xinhua, adding that he fills a "key position" in "times of crisis".
Although Lambsdorff had a "clear political profile," the ambassadorial position in Moscow "requires diplomatic restraint," Sebastian Hoppe, a research fellow at the Institute for East European Studies at the Free University of Berlin, told Xinhua.
Germany and Russia have repeatedly expelled each other's diplomats. However, the situation has worsened considerably since the start of the crisis in Ukraine, which led to massive sanctions against Russia by the EU.