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German foreign minister urges EU to use clear language towards Russia

FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 7, 2020. Markus Schreiber/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union needs a common approach when it comes to deal with Russia but should never stop dialogue, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at a conference in Bratislava.

The EU should speak a very clear language when dealing with Russia in cases like the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny but never forget that Russia was needed to solve global crises.

“We need to be able to play hardball but at the same time we must never let dialogue be stopped,” Maas said, according to a translation into English. “We need Russia to solve the conflicts in Syria, in Libya, in the Ukraine.”

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Thomas Seythal