The chancellor travels to the Russian president: on the anniversary of the poison attack on Kremlin critic Navalny, she speaks with Putin in Moscow. Clear words will probably be spoken.
Moscow (AP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After her arrival, the CDU politician first laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexander Garden in the Russian capital.
The occasion is the 80th anniversary of Hitler’s German attack on the Soviet Union, which killed 27 million more people than any other country in the Second World War.
After that, Merkel met Putin in the Kremlin, as state television showed live at the beginning. Lunch is also on the agenda. The meeting should be about the situation in Afghanistan. The relationship between Germany and Russia is tense due to numerous conflicts and sanctions.
The chancellor’s visit, who was last in Moscow in January last year, coincides with the first anniversary of the poison attack on Putin’s opponent Alexei Navalny. The opposition almost died on August 20 last year with the chemical Novichok. He was treated at the Berlin Charité, where Merkel had also visited the Kremlin’s opponent.
The chancellor had requested clarification of the matter from the Russian authorities and later the release of Navalny, who had meanwhile been detained in the detention camp. It is the first time since the internationally condemned crime that Merkel and Putin also answer questions from journalists together.
Merkel and Putin mainly want to talk about the conflict in Ukraine. With Germany’s mediation, a Ukrainian summit has been held in Berlin for some time now. Merkel will also travel to Kiev this Sunday to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj. The controversial Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline is a major problem in Moscow and Kiev.
Germany wants to ensure that Russia continues to route gas to Europe via Ukraine in the future, so that the chronically clammy country does not lose its significant transit revenues. The contract between Russia and Ukraine for the passage of the gas to Europe expires in 2024. Nord Stream 2 should be ready this month and operational by the end of the year.