Armin Laschet, the newly elected leader of Germany’s Christian Democrats, is coming under mounting scrutiny over statements he has made in the past defending Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Assad regime in Syria. Mr Laschet, prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, beat rival Friedrich Merz in a digital leadership election on Saturday. He is seen as representing continuity with Angela Merkel’s moderate policies. But in the past Mr Laschet, who has strong chances of succeeding Ms Merkel as chancellor after September’s Bundestag elections, has expressed views on Russia and Syria that put him outside the CDU mainstream and which have now come back to haunt him…
Mr Laschet in a Twitter message [had] said there was a lack of evidence to prove that Russia was behind the novichok attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in 2018.
CDU Baden-Württemberg lists Huawei as top sponsor of this weekend’s party congress
This will be a tough one for Biden.