Merkel, Putin Complete ‘Serious and Detailed’ Talks After Three Hours, Kremlin Says


Standing beside Putin, Merkel said both countries - but especially Russian Federation as a permanent member of the UN Security Council - had a responsibility to tackle these problems.

"It's a working meeting from which no specific results are expected", she told reporters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a flying visit to Austria to attend the wedding of the country's foreign minister Saturday before heading to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel and Putin will each make statements at 1600 GMT on Saturday before the start of the talks.

Russia's Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project will be among major energy issues up for discussion by the two leaders.

A spokesman for Merkel said this week that the European Union was still in talks with Russian Federation to ensure that Ukraine continues to play a role in the lucrative energy transit business even after Nord Stream 2 is completed.

Mr. Putin presented the bride with flowers and presents and went on to dance with her at the event in southern Austria near the border with Slovenia.

The two leaders agreed in principle that Iran should exit Syria, according to the person, who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity.

After the wedding, Putin will head to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Putin noted that Germany is not only a market for the supply of hydrocarbons from Russian Federation, but also an important link in their transit to other European countries.

Ukraine fears the pipeline will allow Russia to cut it off from the gas transit business, while Germany's eastern European neighbors, nervous of Russian encroachment, have also raised concerns about the project.

"Nord Steam 2 is purely an economic project and it doesn't close the door to shipping gas through Ukraine", Putin said.

Trump and Putin also discussed the campaign against the Islamic State, disputes over Golan Heights, and the humanitarian situation in Syria, which has suffered years of civil war, the official said.

Russian Federation and the West remain locked in dispute over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and the conflict between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Opposition politicians have accused Kneissl of undermining European Union foreign policy by inviting Putin.

On Syria, Germany wants Putin to finalize a lasting cease-fire there in agreement with the United States.

Earlier, Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas said he was "relatively optimistic about the chances of a United Nations mission", telling the Die Welt newspaper: "We want to give a new dynamic to the Minsk process".