Time for new government to get to work

Time for new government to get to work

Just one day after it was revealed that Angela Merkel sends Vladimir Putin bottles of German beer, the chancellor has said that the Russian president also sends gifts her way.

Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party the Christian Social Union, and the center-left Social Democrats were to sign their coalition agreement Monday. The alliance was sealed last month, ending a protracted period of uncertainty and drift brought about by the inconclusive general election in September.

Meanwhile, the world awaits more news on kind gestures between politicians.

Merkel listed internal security and European cooperation among the new government's priorities, as well as new challenges such as responding to import tariffs announced by U.S. President Donald Trump.

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A conservative ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that if Russia fails to cooperate in the investigation into a nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent in Britain, there should be a joint Western response.

"(Merkel) said it's up to Russian Federation to quickly provide answers to the British government's justified questions and to heed the call to completely and immediately lay bare the relevant chemical weapons programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons", Seibert said.

Russian Federation sanctions could be "discussed", she said - if there's "qualitative progress" in eastern Ukraine.

Geir Moulson is an Associated Press writer.

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