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Western countries should not label Russia as enemy - German president

Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted that the Sailsbury incident gave rise to concern

BERLIN, April 15. /TASS/. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has pointed to the need to make sure there is no animosity between people in Western countries and Russia amid growing tensions in the world.

"We should not designate Russia in general, the country and its people, as an enemy," he said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper published on Sunday.

Steinmeir noted that the Salisbury incident gave rise to concern. "On the other hand, we should be equally concerned about the rapidly growing alienation between Russia and the West, with the consequences going far beyond the scope of that incident," he stressed.

"Countering this dangerous alienation - that’s the challenge and objective of responsible politicians," the German president stated. In his view, Europe should not reject criticism of Russia’s actions. "However, we should not give up attempts to do so through direct dialogue," Steinmeier added.