• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Moscow tells Merkel to watch her mouth on Syria
Syrian refugees at the border to Turkey in late January. Photo: DPA

Moscow tells Merkel to watch her mouth on Syria

AFP/The Local · 9 Feb 2016, 15:36

Published: 09 Feb 2016 15:36 GMT+01:00

In Ankara on Monday, Merkel - referring to air strikes including those carried out by Russia - said "we are horrified in the face of this human suffering."

Her comments represented some of the sharpest criticism yet of Russia's aerial campaign by Merkel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Merkel should carefully watch what she said on the Syrian crisis.

"We once again call on everyone to be very careful and responsible in their choice of words, given the already delicate situation in Syria now and the Syrian settlement," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Despite complaints from the West and the Syrian opposition, Russia had not received any credible evidence of civilian deaths from airstrikes, Peskov said.

He also said no voices had been raised in protest against the "barbaric actions of terrorists" when they assaulted Syrian regime forces in the past.

"No one made any statements of this kind at the time," Peskov told reporters.

Syria peace talks were suspended in Switzerland last week as the West and the Syrian opposition accused Moscow of targeting civilians and seeking a military solution to the nearly five-year war.

Asked on Monday whether Russia would press ahead with its bombing campaign in Syria if the peace talks resume, Peskov declined to comment.

Fears mount that Syria's mainstream opposition rebels risk total collapse after a Russian-backed regime advance that severed their main supply line to the city of Aleppo.

Sour relations

Relations between Russia and Germany have not been icy over the past few weeks, as Moscow blew up the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl with dual Russian German citizenship into a diplomatic row.

In late January Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov accused Berlin police of covering up the girl’s alleged abduction by migrants for reasons of political correctness, a move which Berlin described as “unacceptable.”

Moscow was widely seen as trying to incite fears about refugees among Germany’s large Russian immigrant population in a strategic move to weaken an already fragile European consensus on the migrant crisis.

Story continues below…

Berlin prosecutors later showed that the girl had not been abducted but had spent the night at a friend’s house.

Elements of the German media have been encouraging the government to take a tougher line on Moscow, with Germany's largest circulation newspaper Bild repeatedly saying that the Russian bombing in Syria is intended to worsen the refugee crisis in Germany.

International media meanwhile have suggested that Putin hopes to increase divisions in an EU that has placed painful sanctions on Russia since it annexed the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
German populist party in race row over Boateng remarks
Boateng, who has a Ghanaian father, was born and brought up in Berlin. Photo: DPA

A leading member of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party sparked outrage Sunday after making racist remarks about national football team defender Jerome Boateng.

Dozens hit by lightning strike in west Germany
Witnesses to the lightning strike said it came out of the blue. Photo: DPA

35 people were injured in the west German village of Hoppstädten when lightning struck the pitch at the end of a children's football match.

Dresden 'most woman-friendly’ city in Germany
Photo: DPA.

Sorry Berlin, you're not the most progressive city for women, according to a new report.

The future belongs to these 10 German regions
This east German city won the 'most improved' category. Photo: DPA

A new study shows that one city above all will dominate the future of Germany, but if you're canny you might still want to think about moving to Leipzig or Erfurt.

Fugitive ex-terrorists 'on huge crime spree' in north Germany
(L-r): ex-RAF members Volker Staub, Daniela Klette, and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: BKA

In their struggle against capitalism they once murdered businessmen and politicians. Now three ex-terrorists have taken to robbing supermarkets - and rather successfully, too.

Scooter singer finally reveals how much the fish cost
H.P. Baxxter. Photo: DPA

It is the question Germans have wanted to know the answer to for almost two decades - and now they have the answer, thanks to a US talkshow host.

'I'm definitely not a paedophile': disgraced MP
Former MP Sebastian Edathy is in hiding after a child pornography scandal destroyed his career. Photo: DPA

Former MP Sebastian Edathy quit his job and left Germany after videos of naked children were found on his computer.

Weekend promises storms, humidity - and a bit of sun
A storm in Cuxhaven last weekend. Photo: DPA

The forecast for the coming days isn’t the pristine blue skies many of us are longing for. But, in among the storms, the sun will still peek out.

Prosecutors take aim at unedited Hitler book
An original edition of 'Mein Kampf' featuring a photo of Hitler on an inside cover. Photo: DPA

German prosecutors said on Thursday they were investigating whether to bring charges against a publisher who has promised to print a version of Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto "Mein Kampf" without annotations.

VW bets on battery factory for electric car dominance
A VW logo is seen in front of a plugged-in electric car. Photo: DPA

Scandal-hit car giant Volkswagen is set to sink huge sums into building a factory for batteries to power its future electric cars, German media reported on Friday.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
Lifestyle
10 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
Politics
MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV
National
China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Hamburg
Headless Lübeck corpse turns out to be discarded sex doll
National
Pensioner claims to have found hidden Nazi nukes
Business & Money
Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
7,831
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd