Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Merkel on her last visit to Russia as German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who stepped down later this year after nearly 16 years, is in Moscow for a final meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Before the two leaders met for talks in the Kremlin on Friday, Merkel attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of Russia’s Unknown Soldier in Moscow and watched a military procession shortly thereafter.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall on August 20, 2021 in central Moscow, Russia.

Later, in the Kremlin, Putin presented a bouquet of flowers to the German Chancellor after they met for a photo opportunity before their talks. In front of reporters, Merkel told Putin that although they had deep differences, she felt it was necessary for them to meet for talks.

Merkel said the two leaders have much to discuss on other issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and Libya, as well as bilateral relations.

Putin and Merkel may link Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to Germany, which is almost complete. The US has raised questions over the deal, as it bypasses the historic gas transit country and deals a major blow to ally Ukraine.

The two were supposed to hold a joint news conference soon after their talks.

Merkel is due to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Sunday.

Some of the information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and the French news agency, AFP.

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