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Merkel meets with Russian diaspora for first time ahead of election

May 18, 2:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The discussion, held four months before Germany’s federal election, "focused on topical issues of nowadays," the official statement said

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MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a meeting on Wednesday with representatives of the 2.5 million-strong Russian diaspora in Germany, the leader’s official website said.

The discussion, held four months before Germany’s federal election, "focused on topical issues of nowadays," the official statement said.

Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, earlier told reporters that "such meetings have not been held over the past years at the level of the Chancellor."

Representatives of ethnic Germans, who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, "are a significant group of German citizens," he said. "A discussion on everything, which may be of interest to them, should be held."

Russian-Germans have traditionally supported conservative forces, namely Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany. Today many representatives of the Russian diaspora back a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic party, Alternative for Germany.

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