German FM wants to resume dialogue with Russia after poisoning attack
BERLIN, April 1 (Xinhua) -- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said he wanted to resume dialogue and improve ties with Russia after the poisoning attack and the mutual expulsion of diplomats, according to Bild am Sonntag.
Maas told the newspaper that although much trust were lost in the last few years due to Russia's behavior, Germany needs Russia as a partner to settle regional conflicts, for disarmament and as an important pillar of multilateralism.
"We are therefore open for dialogue and are trying to rebuild trust bit by bit if Russia is ready," Maas was quoted as saying.
Germany has joined the United States and other European countries in standing with Britain over the attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 14.
Four Russian diplomats were expelled from Germany, and later Russia retaliated by expelling also four German diplomats from Russia.
Maas defended the decision to expel Russian diplomats as "to show solidarity with Britain but also as a signal of unity."
Britain accused Russia of being responsible for the use of a military-grade nerve agent on Europe for the first time since WWII, and Germany urged Moscow to cooperate more with the investigations.
Russia denied developing or having such nerve agent.