World Bulletin / News Desk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expected tough talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday on issues from the Syria and Ukraine conflicts to energy cooperation.
But she stressed it was crucial to maintain a "permanent dialogue" with Moscow, especially ahead of a possible summit on the Syria conflict that could also include the leaders of Turkey and France.
Merkel Friday called the low-key visit a "working meeting" where "no specific outcomes" were expected.
"But the problems we are dealing with, from Ukraine to Syria to issues of economic cooperation, are so numerous that they justify maintaining a permanent dialogue," she said.
"There will be controversial issues and there will of course be points where we are thinking about how we can promote and improve bilateral and international cooperation."
Relations have been increasingly tense between Russia and Western powers over Ukraine, Russia's backing for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Moscow's alleged spy activities, cyber-attacks and election meddling in NATO member states.
However, Merkel and Putin also share common concerns -- both have been targeted by US President Donald Trump in a range of different political and trade disputes.
Trump, who is fighting accusations of election collusion with Russia, has accused Berlin of being a "captive" of Moscow and strongly opposed plans for a Russia-Germany gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Putin and Merkel would talk about "bilateral relations as well as the implementation of major joint commercial projects, against the backdrop of threats by third countries to these projects".Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ağustos 2018, 17:10