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Germany Denies Moscow Summoned Ambassador Over Leaked Audio

Germany's Ambassador to Russia Alexander Graf Lambsdorff. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

Updated with denial ambassador was summoned.

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the German ambassador to Moscow after Russian state media leaked a conversation between German military officers, Russian news agencies reported.

Berlin on Sunday accused Moscow of trying to "destabilize" Germany by releasing the audio recording, in which German military officers could be heard discussing how German-made Taurus missiles could be used by Ukraine.

"The German ambassador arrived at the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was summoned in connection with the publicized conversation of German officers about Crimea," Russian state-run agency RIA Novosti said.

The news outlet also published a video of the envoy arriving at the ministry in Moscow, declining to answer the questions of Russian journalists.

Germany's Foreign Ministry later on Monday denied that Berlin's ambassador to Russia had been summoned by Moscow.

"Our ambassador went to a long-planned meeting in the Russian Foreign Ministry [on Monday] morning," a foreign ministry spokesman said, contradicting the reports from Russian state-run news agencies.

The 38-minute audio recording of talks between German military officers was leaked on social media Friday.

During the conversation, the officers discussed aiming the Taurus missiles at targets such as the Crimean Bridge, which has been bombed twice since Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. 

A German Defense Ministry spokesperson confirmed to AFP that the ministry believed the conversation had been between air force officers and had been "intercepted."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised a full investigation into the leaked audio recording.

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