Western leaders in Moscow, day One: Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Western leaders in Moscow, day One: Frank-Walter Steinmeier

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived today in Moscow. In the afternoon he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The head of the State Department of the USA, John Kerry, also arrived in Russia today and tomorrow he is to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to official information, a tripartite meeting of heads of foreign departments of Russia, the USA and Germany is not planned.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoe at a press conference after talks with Sergei Lavrov about the need to intensify the exchange of information between the two countries to combat terrorism.

‘‘It is in our common interest to act against global terrorism. Terrorists intend to intimidate people in our countries and change their lives. This is what they want and they should not succeed in it. We have to protect our way of life with the help of opportunities that rule-of-law states have, and our Interior Minister said today that the exchange of information about terrorism should be used between friendly states in the fight against international terrorism," Tass cites him as saying.

Steinmeier stressed that "we can do more than we did in the past." "This morning I discussed these issues with Sergey Lavrov. We will work more intensively in the framework of the OSCE,’’ the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany said.

Berlin agrees with Moscow that the threat from terrorism is very high and we need to fight against it together. 

"Yesterday's terrorist attacks in Brussels tragically showed once again that we can become victims of terror everywhere and always, that terrorism threatens us equally and we should fight together against terrorism," the head of the German Foreign Ministry said.

"Our talks have shown that we similarly assess not only the danger, but also the necessity to work together,’’ he stressed.

Steinmeier recalled the recent tragedy in Brussels. "You have already mentioned this terrible terrorist act that took place in Brussels. At least 34 people were killed, and over 250 people were injured. This is another bloody example of the threat that we can face, so I think it is in our common interests to act together against it,’’ the Minister said.

Another topic of the ministerial meeting was the situation in Syria. According to the German Foreign Minister, the dialogue advanced as far as possible within five years of negotiations.

"There is hope of a political process for the first time after the meeting of the Syrian International Support Group in Vienna and negotiations in Vienna and Munich," he said.