12:11 GMT +317 July 2018
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    Majority of Germans Seek Rapprochement With Moscow by Berlin - Poll

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    Over half of respondents to a new poll in Germany believe that the country should have better relations with Russia. Another poll conducted in December revealed that Germans think that Moscow is a more reliable partner than the US.

    Some 58% of German citizens responding to a new poll support friendly relations between their country and Russia, while just 26% believe that Berlin should distance itself from Moscow, according to a recent survey conducted by the public opinion research institute Civey.

    Another 14% of those questioned are in favor of continuing the current political course.

    In eastern Germany, 72% of the respondents favored better relations between Germany and Russia, compared to 54% in the western reaches of the nation.

    Alternative for Germany (81%), the Left Party (72%) and the Free Democratic Party (62%) also support a more positive approach toward Moscow.

    READ MORE: More Reliable Partner: Survey Reveals Russia Replacing US Among Germans

    The survey was held between March 9-16, and included over 5,000 respondents.

    In December, a poll published by the German public broadcaster ARD revealed that Germans believe Russia is a more reliable partner than the US.

    Relations between Germany and Russia have deteriorated since 2014 following a coup in Ukraine. EU member states also imposed sanctions against Moscow following Crimea's reunification with Russia in a referendum.

    READ MORE: Against All Odds: What's Behind EU-Russia 'Love-Hate Relationship'

    The crisis deepened recently amid the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that traces in the attack allegedly point to Russia.

    Merkel expressed hope that Russia would take part in the investigation.

    Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who was recruited as a spy by Britain — and his daughter Yulia — remain in critical condition in a hospital after they were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on March 4.

    Prime Minister Theresa May was quick to point the finger at Russia, declaring that it was "highly likely" that the Skripals had been poisoned by a Novichok class military-grade nerve agent developed in the former Soviet Union.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry quickly refuted all allegations, requesting that the UK Foreign Office cooperate in a joint investigation. That proposal was ignored by UK leadership, with May instead announcing a package of anti-Russian measures, including the expulsion of Russian diplomats and suspension of bilateral contacts between London and Moscow.


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    rapprochement, crisis, survey, relations, Germany, Russia
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