"Is this some kind of a crisis in the relations? There is nothing good about it, but I don’t think there is any crisis, and it shouldn’t arise. But we have to figure it out, and I’m with the chancellor [of Germany, Angela Merkel] on this, and we will do our best to figure this out and help our German colleagues," Putin told journalists after the Monday Normandy Four summit in Paris.
Earlier this month, the German Foreign Ministry said it had declared two employees of the Russian Embassy persona non grata over their suspected involvement in the murder of a Georgian citizen in Berlin, which took place in August. The ministry also expressed hope that Russia would engage in immediate cooperation on investigating the case. The Russian Foreign Ministry described the German statements as ungrounded and unfriendly.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the Monday Normandy talks in Paris that the German side had asked Moscow for cooperation in investigating the murder.
"The Russian side has several times raised the issue with the German colleagues on the extradition of this criminal, murderer. Unfortunately we have not reached mutual understanding," Putin said at the press conference, when asked about the issue of the murder.
"I believe that just on the basis of preliminary considerations, is it incorrect to expel diplomats who have nothing to do with this," Putin stressed, explaining that there is the "unwritten practice" in such situations, where "if they expel our diplomats, we expel theirs."
In August, a 40-year-old Georgian national was killed in one of Berlin's parks. According to the German Public Prosecutor General's office, the victim was a member of the Caucasus Emirate* terror group, and fought the Russian federal troops in Chechnya from 2000-2004.
"I know that a person died in Berlin, he was not just a Georgian, he was a man who took an active part in the hostilities on the side of the separatists in the Caucasus. He is not a Georgian by nationality. This person was wanted in Russia. He was a militant," Putin told journalists in Paris, adding that only in one of the terror acts that the man took part in, he killed 98 people.
"He was one of the organizers of explosions in the Moscow subway," Putin said.
*terrorist group banned in Russia