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Merkel Calls for Joint Fight With Russia Against Terror Despite Differences

© AFP 2021 / Thomas Kienzle German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech on the 2nd day of the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MCS) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 18, 2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech on the 2nd day of the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MCS) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 18, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Despite existing differences, Russia is a EU neighbor and shares the goal of fighting terrorism, so the relations with Moscow should be improved, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

MUNICH (Sputnik) — Saturday, the second day of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Germany will feature talks on the recent flare-up of violence in eastern Ukraine both on the main agenda and on the sidelines.

"Russia is also one of our external borders and our neighbor, and I do not cease to call for establishing good relations with Russia despite different stances. For me, this means to continue to adhere to the NATO-Russia Founding Act, I thank the NATO Secretary General for the meetings of the Russia-NATO Council," she said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a meeting at the lower house of parliament Bundestag on 2017 budget in Berlin, Germany, November 23, 2016 - Sputnik International
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"We need to seek common approaches in the fight against Islamist terrorism. Here we have common interests, where we can work together," Merkel said.

Merkel on Saturday urged the NATO-Russia Council to address the topic of hybrid warfare.

"We know that Russia actually is very much actively engaged, is also saying it considers hybrid warfare to be part of its legitimate policy. And I think it would be very good if this could be put on the agenda of the NATO-Russia Council," the German chancellor stated at the Munich Security Conference.

She added that hybrid warfare can pose "a great challenge to democracy" by targeting infrastructure and spreading false information.

"Nothing would be better if we could fight with Russia against Islamic terrorism, to have normal economic relations with Russia, to work on a free trade zone from Vladivostok to Lisbon, but we cannot betray the principles of territorial integrity [of Ukraine]," she said.

"Therefore, we need a political solution, and I'm ready to give it a lot of time and effort," she said.

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