Syria and Ukraine, difficult topics: Merkel to meet Putin today in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday she expects complicated talks on Syria and Ukraine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to meet with Merkel on Saturday.

“The number of issues that concern us, from Ukraine to Syria, the many issues of cooperation, including economic cooperation, is so great that it is justified to be in permanent dialogue,” she said, before adding that “no particular result” was to be expected from Saturday’s meeting.

Germany and France are the sponsors of the peace process in Ukraine, which today seems to be stalled. Russia is accused by Kiev and Westerners of militarily supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia denies such claim.

By, Creative Commons

Merkel and Putin are scheduled to meet at around 6 pm on Saturday in Meseberg Castle, a German government residence 70 km north of Berlin.

Berlin is also playing a minor role in the coalition against the ISIS group in Syria but has close ties with actors in the region, such as Turkey or the Kurds of Iraq. It also hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

On Friday, Merkel discussed a possible summit on Syria in Turkey with Putin, along with French and Turkish Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “It must be well prepared, which is why there is no fixed date,” she said.

The Chancellor spoke by telephone with Macron on Friday, the two leaders reaffirming the need to support “an inclusive political process” in Syria to achieve “lasting peace in the region”.