Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday that Russia is not to blame for a current low point in relations between Berlin and Moscow.
"German-Russian relations are not experiencing their best times," Lavrov said after arriving in Yekaterinburg, the capital of Russia's Sverdlovsk Oblast region, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.
The top Russian diplomat is scheduled to meet with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Yekaterinburg on Monday to speak with students about diplomatic ties between Russia and Germany, specifically as they relate to the Syrian conflict and eastern Ukraine.
Relations between the two countries frayed after Russia occupied and annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea region in early 2014 after Kiev ousted its pro-Russian president amid mass protests calling for closer ties with the West.
Lavrov said that despite their low point, relations to Germany were a high priority, and that his German counterpart understands how important contact to younger generations is for the future of those relations.