German President calls for dialogue with Russia

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BERLIN, Oct. 25 – German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for dialogue between his country and Russia on Tuesday.

Speaking during an interview with the newspaper “Kommersant”, which was also published on the website of the German presidency, Steinmeier said that politicians from Germany and Russia “owed it to their people” to prevent the two countries from drifting apart.

“We cannot allow ourselves, not to speak with each other”, Steinmeier warned.

However, the German president also noted that his country’s government would continue to abide by the European Union sanctions against Russia because it did not recognise what he described as the “internationally-unlawful annexation of Crimea”.

Steinmeier further sided with the German industrial concern Siemens with regards to the recent appearance of four of its turbines in Crimea in contradiction of the existing sanctions regime. Siemens claims that it is a “victim” in the affair, having been commissioned to deliver the turbines to a project on the Southern Russian peninsula of Taman.

The German president criticized that Russian businessmen had hereby broken their contract with Siemens and “damaged the trust” of German investors.

Steinmeier arrives in Moscow for talks on Wednesday as the first German Head of State to do so since 2010. During his visit, Steinmeier will hold discussions with Russian President Wladimir Putin, as well as former president Michail Gorbatschow.

(Copyright National News Agency / Xinhua, 2017)

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