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Germany Ready for Constructive Dialogue With Russia, Chancellor Scholz Says

© Sputnik / Алексей Агарышев / Go to the mediabankGerman Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. File photo.
German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
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BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany is ready for a constructive dialogue with Russia but this should not be considered as Berlin’s new "eastern policy", Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday.

"We are ready for a constructive dialogue [with Russia] ... we must be ready to make more frequent attempts to achieve mutual understanding, to stop the spiral of escalation, as it was temporarily possible with the help of the Normandy process. But this should not be misunderstood as the new German 'Eastern policy'. 'Eastern policy' in a united Europe can only be a European 'Eastern policy'. It is based on the principles of European law and peaceful order, the observance of which was undertaken by Russia and which were grossly violated in connection with the annexation of Crimea", Scholz told lawmakers.

The German chancellor also said that Berlin will follow a similar policy in evaluating the situation at the Russian-Ukrainian border.

"We are watching with great concern these days the security situation at the Russian-Ukrainian border. We will hold intensive consultations in this regard at the EU Summit and today's Eastern Partnership Summit … Any violation of territorial integrity will have a high cost, and we will speak here with our European partners and transatlantic allies with one voice", Scholz added.

© Sputnik / Vladimir TrefilovState flags of Russia and Ukraine
State flags of Russia and Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
State flags of Russia and Ukraine
Scholz's statement comes in response to the recent round of media reports claiming that Russia plans to invade Ukraine, citing the deployment of Russian forces near the border. Moscow blasted the reports as "alarmist", stressing that it has every right to move the nation's armed forces freely within its own territory.
Commenting on the concerns, President Vladimir Putin told his US counterpart Joe Biden that Russian troops do not pose a threat to anyone. He also stressed that NATO should not cross any "red lines", warning against the eastward expansion of the alliance and the deployment of offensive weapons in the countries bordering Russia.
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