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Merkel meets Putin on the anniversary of the Navalny attack

NSOskau (AFP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Berlin on Friday for talks in the Kremlin with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Merkel’s visit to Moscow coincides with the anniversary of the poisoning of Putin’s Russian opponent Alexei Navalny. The 45-year-old is in the criminal camp and holds the Kremlin chief personally responsible for the attack on August 20, 2020. Merkel had asked Moscow to investigate the attack using the chemical warfare agent Novichok.

Russia refuses to investigate, claiming there is no crime. The chancellor also requested the release of Navalny. The politician was arrested in Moscow on January 17 – after returning from Germany, where he was treated and met with Merkel. He is serving his imprisonment in the criminal camp because, according to a controversial ruling, he was said to have violated the terms of registration in Russia during his time in Germany.

The case of the opposition activist, who was nearly killed a year ago, is part of a series of many conflict issues that have severely strained relations between the two countries. After the internationally condemned attack on Navalny, the European Union also imposed sanctions on Russia. Punitive measures are also in place against Russia for a hacker attack on the German Bundestag in 2015 and for the conflict in Ukraine. The list of problems is long:

The conflict in Ukraine

It is also about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, government spokesman Stephen Seibert said in advance, “to resolve it, Russia can do more than it does.” Germany is mediating between Russia and Ukraine in the conflict in which parts of the Moscow-backed Luhansk and Donetsk regions seceded from the central government in Kiev. The peace plan is pending. After Putin’s visit, Merkel will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selinsky in Kiev on Sunday. The Ukraine summit in Berlin has been planned for a long time. There is no date.

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