In the wake of military action taken in Syria by the U.S. and its allies, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticized Russia Sunday over a series of actions beyond its borders. Russia is believed to have been behind a cyber attack that targeted a number of countries including Germany's own ministry. Maas recently returned from a visit to the UK to strengthen ties and discuss foreign policy
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pleasure to welcome new German foreign minister <a href="https://twitter.com/HeikoMaas?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HeikoMaas</a> to UK. 🇬🇧and 🇩🇪will continue to work very closely on many issues, including trade and culture. Delighted to also agree to start a new Strategic Dialogue on foreign policy to improve our ties even further. <a href="https://t.co/9VeCx0cV6C">pic.twitter.com/9VeCx0cV6C</a></p>— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) <a href="https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson/status/984453215591821312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Foreign Minister Maas called upon Moscow to their change its ways after he listed a series of events he called problematic that included the lack of progress to initiate a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Maas also criticized Moscow for the poison gas attack in Britain, supporting the Syrian government, and efforts to meddle in foreign elections recently.
"We had an attack on the Foreign Ministry where we have to assume that it stemmed from Russia, Maas said. "We can’t just wish all that away … And I think it’s not only reasonable but necessary to point out that we do not view those as constructive contributions." German government officials identified what they called an "isolated" cyber attack on the government's computer network. The attack was first discovered in December and just last week the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said there was "a high likelihood" that Moscow was behind the attack.
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Maas is a Social Democrat and has employed a tougher stance on Russia than his counterparts and told German public broadcaster ARD Sunday that Moscow has been an increasingly "difficult partner". Despite these troubles, Berlin maintained it is committed to keeping an open dialogue with Russia, especially on matters to do with the crisis in Syria.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/91b72f9ff9f958393db1a0bdc10a81a9be95f221455b272c4585638cb69c8825.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Cathal McNaughton</span>
"It is time, I think, to point out that we expect constructive contributions from the Russian side, including on the Syrian conflict," Maas said. "And also that they don’t always simply protect (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad." Syria denies using chemical weapons on its people and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned against demonizing Russia. Steinmeier said, "Whether we like it or not, the Syrian conflict cannot be resolved without Russia."
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