New German Foreign Minister on 1st Moscow visit
Moscow: Germany`s new Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle emphasised strong relations with Russia during his first visit to Moscow on Friday, but remained discreet on human rights issues.
"Russia is the most important strategic partner for us, beyond the eastern borders of the European Union", said Westerwelle at a press conference following talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
"The German government wants to pursue without restrictions the strategic partnership with Russia. We are convinced that it will benefit not only our two countries, but equally the whole international community", added Westerwelle, appointed following legislative elections in September.
Westerwelle said he did not raise the issue of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-head of Yukos, whose fraud trial is deemed political by defenders of human rights and whose case has been brought up several times in Germany.
"We did not discuss it. Our position on this subject is known", Westerwelle said, without further comment on the case.
In 2006 Westerwelle, then on the opposition as chairman of the Free Democratic Party, had written to Chancellor Angela Merkel denouncing Khodorkovsky`s conditions of detention.
The Yukos affair began in 2003 and was criticised by Russian liberals and international commentators, who argued it was initiated by the Russian government to recover state control over precious oil assets, and bring into line a businessman deemed too independent and showing political ambitions.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Exiled Kashmiri Pandits share their heart wrenching stories
- Basic ideals of Constitution are in danger: Sonia Gandhi
- PM Modi greets nation on occasion of first Constitution Day
- Manjula Vaghela's journey: From rag picker to head of a firm with Rs 1 cr turnover!
- Indian Army faces shortage of field firing ranges in J&K
- Woman commits suicide after heated discussion with husband over Aamir Khan's intolerance remark
- Eat smart to slow down ageing and increase longevity!
- Intolerance issue: Those attacking me are only proving my point, says Aamir Khan – Read full statement
- Setback to Kejriwal-led AAP as MLA Akhilesh Tripathi arrested in riot case
- 10 interesting facts about Constitution which every Indian must know