En av Tysklands mest prestisjetunge priser går til Vladimir Putin. Tildelingen rører ved det vanskelige forholdet mellom Tyskland og Russland.

The award, which is given by a Berlin-based organization called Werkstatt Deutschland, honors «personalities and projects whose thoughts and acts are built on values,» according to its website. Recipients are «role models who are committed to enlightenment, commitment and welfare.»

Leder for utenrikskomiteen i Forbundsdagen og medlem av CDU, Ruprecht Polenz, mener tildelingen er uheldig.

«I don’t think it is a good idea,» Polenz told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. «Putin has only further developed Russia economically. He hasn’t pushed things forward in terms of the rule of law or human rights.» Polenz said he saw no effort on Putin’s part to halt disturbing developments «that even President Dmitry Medvedev has described as legal nihilism.»

«One could ironically suggest that former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who described Putin as a ‘flawless democrat,’ give the laudatory speech,» Polenz added. Schröder maintained very close ties to Putin. After leaving office as chancellor, Schröder became a member of the board for a gas pipeline project that will deliver Russian gas directly to Germany.

Angela Merkel har lagt større distanse til Russland enn det forgjengeren Gerhard Schröder viste. Men fortsatt er det sterke krefter i Tyskland som ønsker å prioritere handel fremfor moral.

Politicians Criticize Prize for Putin