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German FM Says Dialogue Possible With Russia Despite Conflicts

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (file photo)

The German foreign minister says that despite the loss of trust with Russia, his country is willing to continue dialogue with Moscow in efforts to settle regional conflicts.

"There is no question of it -- a lot of trust has been lost due to Russia's actions in recent years," Heiko Maas said in an interview published on April 1 in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

"At the same time, we need Russia as a partner, for example to help settle regional conflicts, for disarmament, and as an important pillar of the multilateral order," he said.

"So we are open to dialogue for those reasons and hope to rebuild trust step by step if Russia is also willing to do so," he added.

German has joined its Western allies in a series of expulsions of Russia diplomats over anger surrounding an alleged chemical-weapon attack in Britain that left a Russian former spy and his daughter hospitalized.

Britain has blamed Russia for the attack, which Moscow denies.

Based on reporting by Bild am Sonntag and dpa