Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Germany ‘Still Open to Dialogue’ With Russia, Says Minister

Germany ‘Still Open to Dialogue’  With Russia, Says Minister

BERLIN - Germany’s foreign minister on Sunday said his country remained open to dialogue with Russia and hoped eventually to “rebuild trust”, even as tensions soar following a wave of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions over a poisoning row.
“Russia’s behaviour in recent years has undoubtedly caused a lot of trust to be lost,” Heiko Maas said in an interview with German daily Bild am Sonntag.
“At the same time, we need Russia as a partner, to resolve regional conflicts, for disarmament and as an important pillar for the multilateral order,” he went on.
“That’s why we are open to dialogue and hope to rebuild trust bit by bit if Russia is willing to do so.”
The comments came after Germany joined the United States and a string of other Western countries in expelling Russian diplomats over a brazen nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.
Britain has said it is “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, both of whom remain in hospital.
Moscow has angrily denied the accusation and vowed to match the expulsions one-for-one in a major escalation of the crisis.
Maas defended Germany’s decision to send four Russian diplomats home, saying Europe’s joint response was important to show “solidarity with Britain, but also as a signal of unity”.
Altogether, more than 150 Russian diplomats have been ordered out of the US, EU members, NATO countries and other nations in the largest such coordinated expulsions in recent memory. (AFP)