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Merkel Travels to Moscow for Talks With Putin

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Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to go to Russia in the coming week. According to the Kremlin, it is about relations between the two countries and current international issues. After that, she goes on to Ukraine.

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) will visit Russia and Ukraine at the end of next week. As government spokesman Steffen Seibert announced on Friday in Berlin, Merkel wants to travel to Moscow next Friday. There she is to meet with President Vladimir Putin. According to the Kremlin, it is about relations between the two countries and current international issues.

According to Seibert, the federal government intends to announce details of the visits to Kyiv and Moscow in the coming week. It will probably be the last time that Merkel will travel to Russia and Ukraine as Chancellor.

According to the Ukrainian Presidential Office, the Chancellor’s visit will, among other things, deal with security issues. Merkel is considered to be the central mediator in the Ukraine conflict. Together with France, Russia and Ukraine, Germany forms the so-called Normandy format. As part of this constellation of states, negotiations are being held to resolve the conflict between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country.

Merkel’s visits to Moscow and Kyiv are likely to focus on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is supposed to transport Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The project is fueling fears in Ukraine that the country could become less important as a transit country for Russian gas. However, Merkel has warned Moscow not to use the almost completed pipeline as leverage against Ukraine.

However, the federal government has now settled the dispute with the USA over Nord Stream 2. Washington had repeatedly criticized the pipeline and tried to stop the project with threats of sanctions. To settle the dispute, it was agreed between Berlin and Washington that the gas transit through Ukraine should be extended by up to ten years.

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