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Merkel’s talks with Putin, Erdogan may mean she wants to get out of US grip — expert

August 16, 2018, 17:34 UTC+3 BERLIN

The expert expects an exhaustive dialogue on dealing with global diplomatic crises from the meeting of Putin and Merkel

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BERLIN, August 16. /TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s upcoming talks with the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, may signal that the head of the German government wants to get out of Washington’s grip, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Hannover Heino Wiese said on Thursday.

"Given that Merkel will then [after talks with Putin] meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one may go on a premise that the chancellor seeks to get out of the grip of the American government to a certain extent and seeks a European way out of the crisis (in relations with the US)," Heino Wiese said, noting that a number of European partners back her.

The expert expects an exhaustive dialogue on dealing with global diplomatic crises from the meeting of Putin and Merkel, due on August 18. "The crucial issue is whether the German government will change the policy of isolation regarding Russia and whether it will start new rapprochement with major Eastern partners, launching a new phase of the d·tente," said Wiese, member of the board of the German-Russian Forum.

"Or is it just a tactical signal to US President Donald Trump and his administration?" he asked.

Issues to be negotiated

Focusing on focal points of the upcoming talks of the Russian president and the German chancellor, the honorary consul opined that "the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict may be the priority". The gas issue plays a special role in the search for the ways to solve the crisis, he believes.

"Moscow wants to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by all means, and Germany backs this project. However, the necessary condition for getting consent at the European level, is revamping and bringing into proper condition the gas pipeline going across Ukraine," the diplomat said.

"Russia must undertake the commitment to supply large amounts of gas via Ukraine so that it could get a transit charge. This money is necessary to finance Ukraine’s recovery," Wiese believes. At the same time, for updating the pipeline, peace must be achieved in Donbass, he stressed.

Thus, according to the politician, Nord Stream 2 is a leverage of pressure on the Ukrainian government as to its participation in the peace talks in a constructive way. "Maybe, Merkel will achieve a breakthrough in this issue," he supposed.

"In all appearances, Russia’s cooperation with Turkey and Iran towards stabilization in Syria and a possible return of war refugees in the future, will be another issue" at the talks, he said. "Political and financial support from the European Union, and first of all Germany, is necessary for that. And here, the chancellor has a chance of emerging as manager for the settlement of the problems," Wiese added.

Putin and Merkel will meet for talks at the German government’s residence Schloss Merseberg on Saturday evening. Merkel and Erdogan are expected to meet at the end of September. Under the plan, the Turkish president will head to Germany for a state visit on September 28-29.

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