Just one in seven Germans trusts Russia

Just one in seven Germans trusts Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: DPA
A new poll showed on Friday that only 15 percent of Germans think Russia is a trustworthy partner in international affairs.

Meanwhile, 81 percent told pollsters in the latest ARD Deutschlandtrend survey that Russia was “not to be trusted”, Die Zeit reported on Friday.

Asked specifically about the Minsk ceasefire agreement for Ukraine, hammered out with President Vladimir Putin of Russia by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of France and Ukraine, only 13 percent of people thought it would lead to peace.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Russia will conduct large-scale military exercises expected to last over a month in disputed border territories, including the Crimean peninsula – a part of Ukraine annexed by Moscow last year.

Russia to dominate EU meeting

The news came as Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier jets to Latvian capital Riga for a meeting of European foreign ministers starting on Friday.

Representatives of the 28 EU members will discuss reform plans for the Ukrainian government, which are a precondition for European financial aid.

But Europe's wider relationship with Russia, widely believed to be supporting east Ukrainian rebels with weapons, equipment and even disguised troops, will be lurking in the background.

On Saturday, the ministers will discuss EU partnership agreements – the same issue which touched off Russian anger over Ukraine – with Georgia and Moldova, two countries Putin sees as part of his own sphere of influence.

Some of the troops involved in Russia's current exercises are based in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, the focus of a brief war between the two countries in 2008.

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