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Oil, Gas, Petrochemical and Energy Field Specialized Channel

Merkel and Putin to Hold Meeting on Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline

At last month’s NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump caused a stir by claiming Germany was a “captive of Russia.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany this weekend for talks over a controversial Baltic Sea gas pipeline.

Merkel’s spokesman announced that the two leaders are set to sit down together on Saturday at the German government's official guest house outside Berlin.

Moving ahead with the natural gas project Nord Stream 2 will be one of the main topics of discussion, despite opposition to the plan from the US and several eastern European countries.

Nord Stream 2 would add to an existing pipeline and increase the amount of natural gas Russia can send directly to central Europe, skirting countries to Germany’s east.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany still wanted Ukraine to “retain a role as a transit country” for Russian gas, but nothing had been agreed yet.

“The talks have not concluded,” he said.

The US government has made clear its security concerns about a new pipeline and has even threatened sanctions over the matter.

Earlier this year Sandra Oudkirk, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, warned  it could pave the way for Russian surveillance equipment along the pipeline’s route in the Baltic Sea.

At last month’s NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump caused a stir by claiming Germany was a “captive of Russia.”

Mr Trump criticized Germany for expecting the US to “defend them against Russia” while making energy deals with Moscow worth “billions of dollars”.

“I think it’s something that Nato has to look at,” said Trump. “Germany is totally controlled by Russia.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Trump’s argument and said NATO’s European countries “understand that when we stand together also in dealing with Russia, we are stronger”.

Merkel and Putin are also expected to discuss ending the Syrian conflict and the situation in eastern Ukraine this weekend.

The two leaders will each make statements before the start of the talks at the  Meseberg palace on Saturday, but will take no questions.

 

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