Germany: ‘No understanding’ for Russia outrage on expulsions


FILE-In this Aug. 29, 2019 file photo people carry the body of the victim who has been identified as Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian Muslim during the funeral in Duisi village, the Pankisi Gorge valley, in Georgia. Germany’s foreign ministry says it has expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors announced they suspected Moscow’s involvement in the brazen daylight slaying of a Georgian man in Berlin. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

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BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff is urging Russia to support the investigation of a killing prosecutors say appears to have ordered by Russian or Chechen authorities, and says he has “no understanding” for outraged reactions from Moscow.

Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian man on the streets of Berlin in August. German federal prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia’s republic of Chechnya.

Russia’s ambassador to Germany rejected the accusations and threatened consequences for the expulsion of its diplomats.

“We see the expulsions as a very urgent signal to the Russian side to support us immediately and comprehensively in clearing up the identity and background of the suspected perpetrator,” Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, was quoted Friday as telling Der Spiegel magazine.

“Against the backdrop of a lack of support for months, I have absolutely no understanding for Russia being indignant or even considering counter-measures,” he added.

A suspect is in custody in Germany.

Merkel is due to see Russian President Vladimir Putin at a previously scheduled four-way meeting in Paris Monday with the presidents of Ukraine and France. The government said Friday that Merkel and Putin also will hold a bilateral meeting.

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