(Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a full-scale war in the broader Middle East would be a global “catastrophe” and said he hopes it won’t happen.
“War is already going on there -- it is low-intensity, but this is war,” Putin said at a news conference in Moscow after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday. “People get killed. It’s a fact.”
Putin was responding to a question about U.S.-Iranian tensions after the targeted killing of a Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq and the downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet near Tehran by a missile that Iran said was fired in error.
“We would like to avoid major military actions,” Putin said. “If this happens, it will be a catastrophe not only for the Middle East region but for the whole world.”
He said reducing tension in the region was among the topics he and Merkel discussed.
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