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Merkel to address election flaws on Russia visit

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17:12 CET+01:00
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will raise concerns about flaws in the Russian election in talks with President Vladimir Putin and his elected successor in Moscow on Saturday, a spokesman said.

"The chancellor will certainly raise the domestic situation after the election as well as the election itself where we have criticized a whole range of aspects," government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said.

Wilhelm said the political situation in Russia following Dmitry Medvedev's election as president last Sunday would form the focus of Merkel's talks with him and Putin.

"The chancellor would like to form an impression of what the Russian political landscape will look like in future. She is looking forward to learn more about Dmitry Medvedev's stated plans to entrench the rule of law and to modernize the Russian state and economy," he said.

Wilhelm said the chancellor would discuss a range of international issues with Putin and Medvedev and singled out Kosovo as "a very important topic."

Merkel's one-day visit to Moscow will make her the first Western leader to visit Russia following the vote. Earlier this week when she congratulated Medvedev on his landslide victory, Merkel in the same breath expressed concern about election irregularities.

"The government made it clear in the run-up to Sunday's vote that we regret that the international observers could not carry out their job as well as one would wish," Berlin said. "But this does not change the fact that following his election success, the chancellor wishes Mr Medvedev good luck and success with the difficult task ahead."

Merkel has more than once angered Putin by openly criticizing human rights infringements in Russia.

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