Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) says she learned new diplomatic tricks in her first phone call with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“Part of talks with Russia is a kind of game where it’s about showing off to others,” said Baerbock as part of the “RND on site” talk series of the editorial network Germany. She therefore prepares “intensively” for “little tricks” so as not to “let herself be taken on ice.”

During her first phone call with Lavrov, the phone line suddenly got so bad that she could barely understand anything, Baerbock reported. Her Russian counterpart, on the other hand, insisted that the line was flawless. “It was incredibly exhausting,” said Baerbock.

Finally she explained to him that she had understood him to mean that he had agreed to talk about Ukraine again. Lavrov rejected this. “Then the line was clean again,” said Baerbock.