Merkel, Putin hold talks on tough issues

Minnie Murray
August 19, 2018

Both Russia and Germany have been affected by USA tariffs, while Moscow has also been hit by sanctions. Ahead of Putin's visit, Merkel's spokesman said the conditions for a return of refugees are nowhere near at hand.

Karin Kneissl was all smiles as she danced with the strongman in a vineyard in Austria's southern Styria province - though critics anxious her invitation to Putin undermined the West's tough-guy approach with Moscow.

After Trump met Putin while attacking Merkel and the German economy, Janning says, "she needs to have her own contact with Putin".

Merkel warned on August 17 against expecting too much from her discussions with Putin.

He added that the US-opposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project - that will carry gas from Russian Federation to Germany under the Baltic Sea - is exclusively an economic project. According to media reports, the meeting's participants discussed the Ukrainian conflict and the Syria issue, including the return of refugees, so it would be only natural for Putin and Merkel to touch upon it, the expert noted.

"All the more symbolic and harmful to court the Russian president in this manner", he said on Twitter.

His invitation was criticised by Austrian opposition politicians due to tensions between Russian Federation and the European Union over issues including Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Putin and Merkel discussed the idea of a meeting on Syria involving the leaders of France and Turkey as well as Russian Federation and Germany, according to Peskov.

"We need to strengthen the humanitarian effort in the Syrian conflict", he said on Saturday before the evening meeting with the German chancellor at...

"I want to stress here that Nord Stream 2 is only an economic project and it does not close the door to the continuation of gas transit through the territory of Ukraine", he said.

In the years since Putin's previous bilateral visit to Germany, he and Merkel have met at global events including the 2017 Group of 20 summit in Hamburg.

The two leaders took no questions after the premeeting briefing with reporters.

The Kremlin views divisions between the US and Europe over trade and the Iranian nuclear deal as a chance for Russian Federation to mend relations with Germany by presenting itself as a more reliable partner in negotiations.

The head of Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) Andrea Nahles suggested Sunday that Berlin should consider providing assistance to Turkey amid spike in tension with the United States and Turkish lira's volatility. "It was a private visit". But she was appointed to her job by the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) which has links with Putin's party.

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