From this point of view, victory of Steinmeier at these presidential elections means victory of Merkel herself at the federal elections in Autumn 2017: the main potential adversary got out of the way to her 4th term as a chancellor.
Just after Steinmeier's appointment, reports of his being 'a great friend of Russia' have occurred. The German media used to criticize the head of Foreign Ministry for his calls to lift anti-Russian sanctions and his statements on necessary rapprochement with Russia under evident enmity towards the US and its President Trump.
The new German President is also remembered for his statements on NATO's maneuvers in Poland, which he described as 'loud sabre-rattling and warmongering'.
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting with journalists that Kyiv could be Russia's ultimate goal in the special military operation in Ukraine