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Lavrov To Meet Members Of Germany's Far-Right AfD Party

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to meet senior members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Moscow on December 8 in what the Kremlin terms a "very important visit."

Russia has maintained diverse relations with Germany that were successful in certain areas and less successful in others, Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov said in a briefing on December 7, according to Interfax.

President Vladimir Putin does not plan to meet with members of the delegation, Peskov said.

"We believe that this is a very important visit," Peskov said, adding that bilateral relations between Russia and Germany "are very multifaceted and pursue multiple tracks, and our relations develop successfully along some of these tracks and less successfully along others."

Lavrov is to meet the deputy head of the AfD's parliamentary group, Tino Chrupalla, accompanied by Paul Hampel, the party's spokesman on foreign affairs.

The AfD said that the visit was in response to an invitation issued by the Russian State Duma.

German-Russian relations are currently under strain following the poisoning of Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny, who was successfully treated in a Berlin hospital after being evacuated from a Russian hospital in August after he fell ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow.

Laboratories in Germany, France, and Sweden later determined that Navalny was poisoned with a substance of the Novichok group.

Navalny has insisted that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the poisoning attack against him. The Kremlin has denied any involvement.

In October, at the request of Germany, the European Union imposed asset freezes and travel bans against six senior Russian officials and one entity for the "attempted assassination" of Navalny.

The AfD backs the lifting of sanctions on Russia imposed by the EU and calls for relations to be normalized.

With reporting by Interfax, AP, and AFP

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