Putin-Merkel talks: Gas, Ukraine, Navalny. What else?

MOSCOW, ($1= Russian Rubles) – Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived in the Russian capital on a one-day visit, and then went to Kyiv for negotiations, ended in Moscow. BulgarianMilitary.com analyzed in detail the topics that could have been raised during this meeting.

However, the range of negotiations turned out to be much wider and, as the past press conference following the meeting showed, considerable time, was devoted to discussing the sensitive topics of bilateral relations related to Alexei Navalny [Merkel demanded his release] and the termination of activities in Moscow of three German NGOs. T

The latter event is especially important in terms of future contracts within the framework of “civil society”, especially now, when Russia is still undergoing the Year of Germany, from which it was expected that it will become a source of new useful impulses for Russian-German relations in various spheres of life. From the point of view of the German state news agency Deutsche Welle (DW), this decision of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office was explained by “the Kremlin’s desire to isolate Russian civil society.”

The problem of such a ban for the future relations between the FRG and Russia is related to the fact that two of the three NGOs were participants in the Petersburg Dialogue, created at the time by Putin and then German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. In this regard, German politicians of different spectrums demanded to postpone the activities within the framework of the dialogue until the restoration of the activities of the above-mentioned NGOs in Russia. Therefore, Chancellor Merkel spoke at a joint press conference in the spirit that the restoration of the activities of these NGOs is the key to success for the Petersburg dialogue.

In this regard, one cannot but draw attention to herself that Merkel avoided answering a question from a Russia Today correspondent about the admission of this TV channel to broadcast in German.

In general, judging by the press conference that was almost an hour and a half late compared to the schedule, the leaders of the two states had a lively exchange of views on several international problems: from the ways of settlement in Libya, the situation in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, problems that have arisen with Iranian nuclear program following the US withdrawal from the Joint and Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The focus of the talks was on such issues as Nord Stream 2 and the situation in southeastern Ukraine. It is noteworthy that Merkel had no doubts about the usefulness of Nord Stream 2 for Germany and Europe as a whole. And Vladimir Putin agreed to the use of the Ukrainian gas transportation system (GTS) after 2024 when the current five-year agreement on the transit of Russian gas to Europe through it expires. However, the Russian president rightly noted that by that time European countries, as end consumers of gas, will have to inform the Russian side what volumes of gas they intend to purchase from Russia. Since the EU’s planned “green turn”, i. E. a complete rejection of fossil fuels could put Russian gas producers in a difficult position.

Neither Putin nor Merkel had any doubts that the Normandy format created at the time, like the Minsk agreements, is the only key to solving the situation in southeastern Ukraine. In this regard, Putin appealed to Merkel in the upcoming talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to convince him of the need to take concrete steps envisaged by the latest meetings in the Normandy format.

Both leaders considered the level and development of economic ties between the two states to be positive.


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