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5/2/17

Germany and Russia: Chancellor Merkel faces President Putin in tense Sochi press conference

Merkel and Putin: an intelligent exchange of viewpoints
Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was not worried about the possibility of Russian meddling with the upcoming election in Germany.

"I am not the kind of a person that is easily scared," she told reporters at a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Tuesday.

Berlin would take "decisive action" if fake news were distributed, Merkel added, citing the examples of thefictional rape of a Russian girl or claims against German troops in Latvia.  Merkel expressed confidence that Germans "will be able to campaign amongst themselves, without interference."

In turn, Russia's Putin dismissed the allegations about political meddling in the West as "rumors."

"We never interfere in the political life and the political processes of other countries and we don't want anybody interfering in our political life," he said.

Merkel traveled to Sochi on Tuesday for her first visit in two years, as part of her tour ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg. Relations between Berlin and Moscow deteriorated following the Crimea crisis which started in 2014, and Germany and Russia are at odds over conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

Merkel also urged Putin to "use his influence" to protect gays in the Muslim-dominated Russian republic of Chechnya. Recently, Russian activists reported that state authorities were rounding up gays and torturing them, and several were allegedly killed in the crackdown.

Additionally, the German leader stressed the right of anti-government forces to hold rallies against the Kremlin, after scores of protesters were arrested.

Putin responded by praising the Russian security forces, saying they were "more reserved and liberal" than many of their European colleagues who used "tear gas and batons" to disperse protest.

"Thankfully, we had no need for this so far," he said.

Note EU-Digest: Regardless of the differences there are in  the relationship between many of the EU countries and Russia, there is a mutual respect and civility for each others viewpoints . 

Comparing the Trump Administrations high level meetings, Press conferences, interviews and Presidential Public appearances  these past three months in light of this recent Merkel -Putin Sochhi  Press meeting, one can certainly call it a "night and day difference".

It has been reported that the US  President during his first 100 days in office made 213 false statements.

 Watching and listening to these two Heads of State intelligent composed and articulately answered responses to difficult questions, at least can give us all some hope again that  there still is a chance to solve political problems regardless of Donald Trump. 

Read more: Chancellor Merkel faces President Putin in tense Sochi press conference | News | DW.COM | 02.05.2017

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