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ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel to meet Putin on Saturday for talks on Ukraine and Syria

Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin this weekend to discuss the conflicts in Syria and Eastern Ukraine.

Merkel to meet Putin on Saturday for talks on Ukraine and Syria
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin are set to meet for talks this weekend. Photo: DPA

The two leaders will meet at Schloss Meseberg outside Berlin on Saturday for talks on Ukraine and Syria, as well as the controversial gas pipeline Nord Stream II, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert confirmed on Monday.

It will be the second meeting between Merkel and Putin in just three months, after the two met in Sochi last May to discuss similar topics.

Those talks saw Putin demand that Europe play a role in the rebuilding of Syria under President Bashar Al-Assad, while Merkel argued for the advancement of UN peace talks.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to the Nord Stream II pipeline, and attempted to allay Ukrainian concerns that the project would see Ukraine lose out on transit revenue.

Just two months later, Donald Trump would open a NATO summit in Brussels with a scathing attack on Nord Stream II, saying that it made Germany a “captive of Russia”.

 

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UKRAINE

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have met the Ukrainian president in Kyiv, after the trio travelled overnight by train from Poland.

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

The three leaders left in the early hours of Thursday, arriving into Kyiv on Thursday morning. After a visit to the heavily-bombed town of Irpin, they met Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

Macron has been paying a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova to discuss the ongoing crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There had been widespread speculation in France that he would combine the trip with a visit to Zelensky in Ukraine, but this was not confirmed until Thursday morning.

In a joint press conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, Macron reiterated his desire that Ukraine should win the war, but added that eventually negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be necessary.

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