Putin and Merkel discuss Nord Stream 2, Syrian reconstruction

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Topics during the bilateral talks include Ukraine, Syria and the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany that the United States and some European countries object to.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as Iran and a gas pipeline project that has drawn us ire during tough talks outside Berlin that ended with no clearcut progress.

Putin noted that Germany is not only a market for the supply of hydrocarbons from Russian Federation, but also an important link in their transit to other European countries.

Although the partnership between Russian Federation and Germany has been slammed by US President Donald Trump, Berlin and Moscow say it is a private business project which is due to be operational by the end of the year. "To do everything to leave Ukraine without profits from the existing gas transport system".

Putin also called on Europe to intensify humanitarian aid to Syria, where Moscow has backed President Bashar al-Assad's war against opposition rebels and militant groups.

The two leaders will also discuss the Iran nuclear deal, with Merkel saying: "We would like to preserve this deal but we are also concerned about the missile program with Iran". "It's a work meeting from which no specific results are expected, but the number of problems we are preoccupied with - from Ukraine and Syria to the issue of economic cooperation - is so big that it is justified to be in a permanent dialogue".

"This is potentially a huge burden for Europe", Putin said. "These are the most basic things in which I think everyone is interested, including Europe".

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Guests watched as Putin danced with Kneissl who married businessman Wolfgang Meilinger at a vineyard in Austria's Styria state.

Merkel has encountered political pressure at home for opening Germany's borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees in 2015.

Austrian opposition politicians had criticised the invitation to Putin saying it undermined Austria´s claim to be an "honest broker" between Europe and Russian Federation, with the Green party calling for Kneissl´s resignation.

"Vladimir Putin is the most aggressive foreign adversary of the EU".

Ms Kneissl, an independent, was picked for the foreign minister job by Austria's far-right Freedom Party - a coalition partner in the current government. Putin gave the newlyweds a cold press oil machine, a traditional Russian samovar and a landscape painting that "depicts the place where the groom hails from", according to Peskov.

He said Putin's attendance would be great publicity for the country: "A better advertisement for Austria, its wonderful nature, dreamlike landscape and real life hospitality can not exist!"

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