Girl’s dis­ap­pear­ance stokes Ger­man, Rus­sian ten­sions

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

BER­LIN — Ger­many is cau­tion­ing Rus­sia against us­ing the mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance of a 13-year-old Ger­man-Rus­sian girl in Ber­lin for political pur­poses. The girl was re­ported miss­ing Jan. 11 and reap­peared af­ter about 30 hours. On­line ru­mours en­sued that she had been kid­napped by a group of for­eign-look­ing men and raped, but Ger­man po­lice say they have found no ev­i­dence of ei­ther a kid­nap­ping or a rape. The case has drawn wide­spread at­ten­tion in the Rus­sian me­dia. Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergey Lavrov as­serted Tues­day that the girl’s dis­ap­pear­ance “was hushed up for a long time for some rea­son” and added she didn’t dis­ap­pear “vol­un­tar­ily.” Ger­man of­fi­cials said Wed­nes­day that they have full con­fi­dence in Ber­lin ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties. Govern­ment spokesman St­ef­fen Seibert said “there is ab­so­lutely no rea­son ... to in­stru­men­tal­ize this mat­ter po­lit­i­cally.”

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