Friedrich Mertz, a candidate for the chairmanship of the Christian Democratic Union, a member of Germany’s ruling coalition, believes Turkey and Russia need to strengthen ties with the European Union (EU), Funke media group reported.
“It would be wise to expand the European economic space, which would provide countries such as Turkey with access to the EU domestic market without the right to join the EU,” said the German politician. “One day this could be promising for Russia as well,” he added.
Speaking about relations with Turkey, Mertz stressed that even in the long run, there is no possibility for that country to join the EU. “All possible forms of interaction can be discussed at a low level,” he said.
Mertz believes that the recently signed cooperation agreement between London and Brussels on Brexit could be a defining factor in this issue, DW reported.