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Merkel provokes Putin over Pussy Riot punishment

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Merkel provokes Putin over Pussy Riot punishment

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There’s been what was described as a frosty encounter between Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a business forum in Moscow.

The Russian leader was clearly irritated by Merkel’s questioning of a two-year jail sentence for the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot.

Chancellor Merkel told the forum :”… Whether it was necessary to send two girls to (prison) camp, I don’t know, but in Germany that would not be the case. And that’s not against Russia, it’s just my opinion?”

President Putin fired back making the allegation : “The German Chancellor refers to the girls who sit in prison for their performance in a church. But is she aware that before, one of (the girls) hung a mannequin of a Jew and said that we need to get rid of these kind of people in Moscow? We can’t support the kind of people who hold anti-Semitic views.”

Merkel is the first western leader to visit Putin since his controversial return to the presidency earlier this year. Although later signing a series of trade agreements there has been growing German criticism of Russia’s human rights record and its moves to crack down on dissent.

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