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Moscow-based expert marks thaw in Russian-German relations

March 20, 2017, 20:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An expert saны a visible thaw was coming against the background of an ongoing conflict over Crimea and eastern Ukraine

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MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. A gradual thaw is seen in Russian-German relations, a deputy director of the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences told a video link connecting Moscow and Berlin on Monday.

"We are seeing a gradual warming of the atmosphere, against the background of which bilateral relations are developing," Vladislav Belov told the video link "EU at the crossroads. What should Moscow expect from European partners?"

"Berlin is sending increasingly more signals to Moscow, making it clear that even if all negative factors persist, our relations can improve," the expert said. He said a visible thaw was coming against the background of an ongoing conflict over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, where Russia and Germany take opposite stances

"A good working dialog at the level of the Russian president and the German chancellor continues," Vladislav Belov said. He also noted that the appointment of a new foreign minister in Germany has not affected an ongoing working dialog at the foreign ministerial level. "Relations between our countries will be developing gradually irrespective of who will be the federal chancellor," the expert said.

He also noted that Russian-German scientific cooperation has remained practically unchanged since 2014. "The financing has continued, many programs are being implemented, and a German house of research and innovations is successfully functioning in Moscow," he added.

"I believe the message (Chancellor Angela) Merkel was to convey to (US President Donald) Trump during their meeting is that the European world order cannot be shaped without Russia," Belov said.

Following the incorporation of Crimea after a coup in Ukraine in 2014, Moscow came under sanctions on from the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon ramped up following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia was supporting the militias in self-proclaimed republics of Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in the destabilization of Ukraine.

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