Germany strategically interested in good relations with Russia, supports Russia-NATO, Russia-EU dialogue - Merkel
SOCHI. May 18 (Interfax) - Germany is strategically interested in good relations with Russia, favors the continuation of the NATO-Russia Council's work and supports contacts between the European Union and Moscow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
"We have a strategic interest in maintaining good relations with Russia, and I have always said at the most difficult times that the NATO-Russia Council should continue its work and that the EU also continue and maintain contacts," Merkel said at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Friday.
"I believe it is absolutely important to maintain dialogue. Our civil societies are maintaining very broad connections. German-Russian cooperation should endure very serious, very principled disagreements, but I would stress once again: if we want to solve problems, we need to communicate with each other and maintain dialogue," Merkel said.
"There are matters on which we share the same opinion," she said.
"Therefore, there might be other matters on which we disagree. At times when we talk a lot about each other, we should always look for opportunities to talk with each other," she said.
Merkel said her meeting with Putin took place "at a good moment."