German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine as well as the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline during talks on Saturday.
Standing together ahead of the talks at the 18th-century Meseberg Palace, the two leaders took no questions before heading off for the meeting outside Berlin, which ended with no agreements being signed off.
That was Putin’s first bilateral visit to Germany since 2014.
“We need to strengthen the humanitarian effort. By that, I mean above all, humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, and help the regions where refugees living abroad can return to.”
“Together with German partners we are working on the new natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which will complete the European gas transport system, minimize the transit risks, and secure the growing consumption in Europe,” Mr. Putin said at a joint press statement with Ms. Merkel before the start of the meeting.
“The main thing is that the Ukrainian transit, which is traditional for us, meets economic demands. Nord Stream 2 is exclusively an economic project.”
“Germany, but especially Russia, as a member of the UN security council, has a responsibility to find solutions.”
"I am of the opinion that controversial issues can only be addressed in dialogue and through dialogue."
“It’s a working meeting and one shouldn’t expect any special results,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Friday before the meeting. “But we’re dealing with so many problems, from Ukraine to Syria to cooperation in the economic sphere, that it is justified to keep up a permanent dialogue.”
“In my view Ukraine must retain its role in the transit of gas,” Ms. Merkel said on Saturday.
“We will of course discuss relevant human rights issues today. I believe that controversial topics can be solved through dialogue.”