Merkel, Putin Exchange Views On Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Pipeline

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Putin then left to join the German chancellor at the government's guesthouse in Meseberg, north of Berlin.

The invitation surprised many in Vienna and Moscow, particularly at a time when the European Union is at odds with Russian Federation over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and other issues.

The two sides also discussed the possibility of a four-way meeting on Syria, involving Turkey, Russia, Germany and France, the Russian president's spokesman said.

Mr Putin then had to put his dancing shoes away, arriving in Berlin for talks with Ms Merkel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday - but not before attending nuptials in Austria first.

After Putin used his military to tip the war in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's favour, Russian Federation joined with Turkey and Iran in trying to engineer a settlement.

"I am of the opinion that controversial issues can only be addressed in dialogue and through dialogue", Merkel said.

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

The two leaders both viewed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as a purely commercial venture, despite persistent fire by the USA and Ukrainian governments, Peskov said.

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Earlier this month, a Russian suggestion that the United States and Russia form a joint group to finance infrastructure renovation in Syria was met with an icy reception, according to a U.S. memo seen by Reuters.

Speaking ahead of bilateral talks with his German counterpart, Mr Putin insisted the Nord Stream 2 project is "purely economic".

Nord Stream 2 has also come under fierce criticism from some European nations including Ukraine, which stands to lose billions of dollars every year in transit fees.

While officials from both countries played down the significance of the invitation to Putin, it comes after Trump last month slammed Germany as "totally controlled by Russia" because of its dependence on Moscow for natural gas supplies.

But Merkel has maintained that the Nord Stream project is an economic, not political matter for Germany.

The Iran nuclear deal, which was recently ditched by the United States, humanitarian efforts in war-ravaged Syria, and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project...

Turkey and the US have been locked in a heated crisis emanating from unjust sanctions and the actions of Trump, as Washington levied sanctions on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

Merkel opened her remarks by telling Putin that Russian Federation has an elevated responsibility to solve global crises.

"Merkel is hedging and Putin is exploiting", Josef Janning, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, told Bloomberg.

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