Merkel to raise journalist's murder with Putin

9th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2006, BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to raise the killing of a leading Russian investigative reporter at talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, government officials said. Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said the German government was "outraged" and "embittered" over the slaying last week of Anna Politkovskaya who was a leading critic of the war in Chechnya. "It's the responsibility of government to ensure there is a climate in a country promoting freedom

9 October 2006

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to raise the killing of a leading Russian investigative reporter at talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, government officials said.

Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said the German government was "outraged" and "embittered" over the slaying last week of Anna Politkovskaya who was a leading critic of the war in Chechnya.

"It's the responsibility of government to ensure there is a climate in a country promoting freedom of the press without a climate of fear," said Jaeger.

Merkel, who is due to hold talks with Putin in the eastern German city of Dresden on Tuesday, plans raise internal Russian developments, said the government's chief spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm.

"Every theme which raises concerns will be discussed," stressed Wilhelm.

Germany's media have closely linked the killing to Putin's trip. "Attack in Moscow overshadow's Putin visit," said a front page headline in the newspaper Die Welt.

Other issues at the one-day Merkel-Putin meeting include the Iranian nuclear crisis and trade ties, he added. President Putin is due to visit Munich on Wednesday.

Putin served as a KGB agent based in the former communist East German city of Dresden from 1985 to 1990 and speaks fluent German.

The Russian leader forged a close political friendship with former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who was voted out of office last year.

Merkel has sought to maintain good Russian-German relations while attempting to keep some distance between Berlin chancellery and the Kremlin. Since taking office she has been far more outspoken on Russian human rights issues than Schroeder was.

DPA

Subject: German news

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