MOSCOW German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on a visit to Moscow on Friday that she had expressed her concern to President Vladimir Putin about a series of Russian laws being pushed by his party in parliament that could stifle dissent.
"We spoke about the situation of civil society in Russia and I expressed my concern about plans for certain laws," Merkel said at a joint news conference with Putin at the Kremlin.
"I think we need to speak openly and honestly about these issues. This dialogue is a precondition for understanding each other and identifying the conflicts."
(Writing by Noah Barkin)