Russia's Putin Says Germany 'Is Partner and Friend'

World | May 11, 2015, Monday // 08:23|  views

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) during a press conference after their talks in Moscow, Russia, May 10, 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Germany is a partner and friend to Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday at a press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

This comes despite "serious difference in opinions", in his words quoted by German daily S?ddeutsche Zeitung.

Merkel is on a visit to Russia which followed the Victory Day parade on May 9, an event she preferred not to attend thus siding with EU counterparts which boycotted it en masse citing Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

The German Chancellor was, however, unusually critical of the incorporation of Crimea by Russia in mid-March of last year.

Merkel is visiting Moscow to honor World War Two victims, and alongside Putin took part in a special wreath-laying ceremony held Sunday.

The Ukraine crisis took much of the agenda, with both leaders praising the relatively successful observance of the Minsk agreement they helped broker in February.

Part of their conversations was without interpreter, since both are fluent in each other's language, S?ddeutsche reports.

Putin said that, although it was "no secret" that "Russian-German relations are not undergoing the best of times", the two countries have not ditched the road to reconciliation.

Merkel for her part warned Moscow had violated Europe's order of peace and by incorporating Crimea and fomenting unrest in Eastern Ukraine had provoked a crisis.

This wasn't followed by an immediate reaction from Putin himself.

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Tags: Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Merkel, Putin, Russia, Germany, Crimea, Ukraine, World War Two


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