German Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for penultimate talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today in a bid to stabilize relations

Steffen Kugler Bundesregierung

Photo: Steffen Kugler/Bundesregierung

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today in a bid to stabilize relations ahead of her departure from office on September 26.

The Germany-Russia talks are expected to address the prospect of bilateral cooperation, the recent Taliban conquest of Afghanistan, Russia’s military presence on the Ukrainian border, and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. Chancellor Merkel’s willingness to open talks with Russia—despite opposition from several EU member states—is likely driven by Germany’s economic ties to Russian natural gas supplies.

Chancellor Merkel has been criticized for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will soon double Russia’s natural gas exports to Germany, because it risks increasing a dependency on Russia and depriving Ukraine of $2 billion USD transit fees.

Today’s talks in Moscow are likely to include Chancellor Merkel’s proposition of a $1 billion USD ‘Green Fund’ to support renewable energy in Ukraine to compensate for lost revenues and the Germany-US deal to impose sanctions on Russia if it tries to abuse its monopoly position on natural gas exports. This has been heavily criticized by Kyiv as a weak solution, which is likely to strain Germany’s relations with Ukraine in the future.

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