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German Chancellor stops short of directly blaming Russia for spy poisoning

German Chancellor stops short of directly blaming Russia for spy poisoning
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron discussed the recent killing of a former spy in Britain when they met in Pars on Friday, with Macron going further than Merkel in pointing the finger at Russia.

"We condemn this Russian interference and what happened because there is every reason to believe that it is indeed Russia that led this murder attempt, Macron said at a news conference.

But Merkel stopped short of blaming Russia, although she has previoulsly said Russia was "probably" to blame.

"Many think that Russia is guilty and I think it is good that the British government has put this problem on the international stage so that we can have maximum transparency. It is an extremely difficult situation."

Germany is heavily reliant on Russia for its energy supplies. It receives 40 percent of its gas from Russia and that will rise to 50 percent by 2025.

European Council head Donald Tusk said he had spoken to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday in order to prepare a clear EU message over the assassination attempt

Tusk made the comment on Twitter after a phone call with May.

EU leaders will meet at a regular summit on March 22-23.

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