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Why the meeting of Putin and Merkel should be perceived as a sign

Why the meeting of Putin and Merkel should be perceived as a sign

August 20 2018
Tags: Germany, Russia, Putin, Merkel, Politics, International relations, Analytics, Economics, Nord Stream, Syria, Sanctions, USA, West, Iran, Ukraine, Refugees, Gas

The unexpected meeting between Putin and Merkel near Berlin, which agitated the American press, ended without concrete agreements, Western media noted with relief. However, they clearly hurried, considering the negotiations as unsuccessful.

The press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov summed up the results of Vladimir Putin's talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, calling them "lengthy and thorough." The meeting itself took place on Saturday evening in Mezeberg Palace at 70 km from Berlin and lasted three hours, and some of the time the leaders were talking face to face - even without translators.

Already the news of this meeting on Monday was a complete surprise for the American press and caused her serious concern. They decided that a certain "Miesberg Pact" could be concluded between Russia and Germany in opposition to the United States, which introduced new sanctions against the Russian Federation, while the FRG was pressured by trade duties.

Nevertheless, as Peskov said, no concrete agreements were reached at the end of the meeting, and therefore the Western press hastened to call it fruitless and even recalled the "long history of cooling and rapprochement" of Putin and Merkel, in which they did not manage to achieve any something serious shift.

However, the Western media are still somewhat hasty with their assessment. Even before Putin's trip to Germany, Peskov noted that this would be "checking the hours for the most important problems." This same press secretary of the president confirmed on Sunday. At the same time, he added that the goals to reach any concrete agreements during the last meeting simply did not stand.

It is important to pay attention to what issues were prioritized in these negotiations and in what context they were discussed. First, it is"Nord Stream - 2". Yes, of course, Merkel said the standard phrase about the need to preserve the Ukrainian transit of gas to Europe, to which Putin responded no less standard - that the pipeline does not close the possibility of deliveries through Ukraine, and these supplies simply should be economically justified. But more importantly, the two leaders once again consolidated the general approach, that they view the Nord Stream as a purely commercial project and oppose its politicization.

Moreover, various mechanisms to protect the project against possible US sanctions were discussed, which, as the American press reported on Sunday, are already in a high stage of elaboration. "There is an understanding that, of course, the project is absolutely commercially profitable, competitive, and therefore it is necessary to take measures to protect it from possible non-competitive and illegal attacks from third countries, in order to ultimately reach the completion of this project," stressed Sands. That is, in fact, Berlin and Moscow "checked the clock" on their readiness to confront the US sanctions policy on the "Northern Stream".

The German political scientist Alexander Rahr is sure that there could be no other option for development in this matter. Going around the United States, "the Germans would simply sign in their full vassalage after 50 years built an energy alliance with Russia and agreed to build a large second pipe," he told the newspaper VZGLYAD.

Secondly, Merkel and Putin both expressed concernsituation in Syriaand the flow of refugees from this country. At the same time, the Russian president offers the FRG and the EU to facilitate the return of refugees to the UAR, undertaking joint efforts with Russia to restore infrastructure in the war-torn country. The variant is quite tempting for the Chancellor, because the refugees have become one of the main problems that undermine its domestic political positions. She herself noted the improvement of the situation in Syria, the need to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the province of Idlib, controlled by terrorists, and in the country as a whole.

"An absolutely new chapter is being opened there. The war in Syria is over, and now refugees can return there - it's positive, "Rahr stressed. Restoring Syria through the joint efforts of various states from Russia's submission gives an enormous chance for unprecedented cooperation between the countries, the expert said.

Thirdly, the leaders of the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Germany in absolute unison voicedIranian issue. Both leaders stressed that the nuclear deal with Iran must be carried out despite the unilateral withdrawal of the US from it and their attempts to force other countries to follow their example. This is another topic where there is a mutual understanding between Russia and Germany that it is impossible to dance to the pipe of the United States, Alexander Rahr noted.

The German political scientist considers it a mistake to believe that on these issues Putin and Merkel were seeking compromises. In his opinion, in this case it is a question of mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as a rejection of the tough political confrontation that was several months ago.

Another key topic of the talks was thethe Ukrainian question. And even here, despite the difference in approaches, Putin and Merkel did not show contradictions and did not exchange mutual reproaches. On the contrary, they both stressed the non-alternative nature of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and also expressed regret over their slippage, which, by the way, this time was not blamed for Russia.

Moreover, the Chancellor of Germany proposed to the President of the Russian Federation a plan for the introduction of peacekeepers in the Donbass and the establishment of an international administration there. Previously, Putin himself proposed the introduction of the peacekeeping contingent, but there were differences with the West about specific details, which, apparently, were just one of the subjects of discussion in Mezeberg.

"Everyone has long wanted to solve this conflict. Only one way is seen - these are the blue helmets. But the consent of all the conflicting parties is needed, now Ukraine will be persuaded. I think that this meeting was preparatory for the meeting in the Norman format, "Rar said.

In addition, do not forget that this is the second meeting of the leaders in the last three months, and they took place not in a neutral territory, but in Sochi and near Berlin, which quite eloquently testifies to the importance of these dialogues. "If earlier we tried to refuse contacts with Russia, now Merkel and the whole world realized that without Russia the new world order that is being created will not be stable, that's why everyone is going to cooperate with Russia and invite it. This closing of a very negative stage, when everyone was silent, was led only by a monologue. This is positive, "the political scientist said.

"After this meeting, we can not say that Germany and Russia are at the stage of the Cold War, thank God, they realized that it can not be returned to it.

Two years ago, all this looked exactly the same, there were only disputes, no positive, "Rahr said, adding that common issues have now been found that can only be resolved together and the meeting showed that there are more aspects for cooperation than for quarrels. "Berlin and Moscow are practically beginning again to talk about the arrangement of the world, about specific solutions to specific issues and problems," the expert concluded.

Nikita Kovalenko
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