• Germany's news in English

Steinmeier to head to Russia next week

AFP · 9 May 2008, 16:26

Published: 09 May 2008 16:26 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Steinmeier will stop in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg at the foot of the Urals during the May 12 to 16 visit, spokesman Martin Jaeger told reporters at a regular government news conference.

He did not specify whom Steinmeier would meet. But the visit comes on the heels of new President Dmitry Medvedev's inauguration and his predecessor Vladimir Putin's confirmation as prime minister.

It will also coincide with a meeting of Steinmeier's Slovenian, Swedish, Polish and Lithuanian counterparts in Georgia in a bid to cool tensions over the separatist region of Abkhazia.

Beyond the situation in the Caucasus, Jaeger said Steinmeier would focus on the pivotal role Russia can play in conflicts such as the Israel-Palestinian dispute and tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Medvedev is to visit Germany in June.

Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, and Germany's conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel have clashed repeatedly over their approach to Russia.

The foreign minister has maintained former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's line that Russia must be courted as an indispensable partner in resolving global conflicts and ensuring energy supplies to western Europe.

Merkel, who was raised in Germany's former communist east, has taken a far more critical tack and held high-profile meetings with Russian critics of alleged civil and human rights abuses under Putin's government.

Story continues below…

Human Rights Watch said in a statement from Moscow on Friday that Steinmeier should "press Russia to immediately end impunity for human rights violations in Chechnya and cease harassment of and restrictions on civil society."

"We sometimes hear that Germany can't 'tell Russia what to do' because of historical sensitivities," Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

"But Germany is a serious partner and friend to Russia. It is very well-placed to encourage Russia to honour its international human rights obligations."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd