Trudeau, Merkel discuss situation on Russian border, relations with China

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HAMBURG, GERMANY - JULY 08: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend a panel discussion titled 'Launch Event Women's Entrepreneur Finance Initiative' on the second day of the G20 summit on July 8, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. Leaders of the G20 group of nations are meeting for the July 7-8 summit. Topics high on the agenda for the summit include climate policy and development programs for African economies. (Photo by Ukas Michael - Pool/Getty Images)

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and discussed several issues, including the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, along with “common priorities and shared values” regarding relations with China.

“The two leaders shared their deep concern about Russia’s recent military activities in Crimea and along the border with Ukraine. They underlined their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,” Trudeau’s office said in readout.

This comes as Russia has expressed its concern with Ukraine’s “increasing belligerence” in the Donbas region, as Ukrainian forces step up an offensive to end the near-seven-year civil conflict by using military force, Sputnik reported.

During the phone call, both the leaders discussed “common priorities and shared values” regarding relations with China, including the ongoing detention of two Canadian nationals – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – in China on espionage charges.

Trudeau expressed his appreciation for Germany’s solidarity with Canada’s position regarding its two detained citizens, the statement said.

Kovrig and Spavor have now been detained in China for more than 800 days and Ottawa maintains that the “arbitrary” detentions came in retaliation for Canada detaining Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in 2018 at the request of the United States. (ANI) 

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