"To people who talk about a Cold War or the danger of a Cold War, like Russian Prime Minister (Dmitry) Medvedev, all I can say is that this is definitely not the view of the German government," German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

"One must say that it is in his hands to prevent such a situation," he added. Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer added that there was no alternative to dialogue with Moscow against the backdrop of what he called "pretty intensive and difficult conflicts of interest" with Moscow.

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