Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Merkel Travels To Russia To Resume Dialogue With Putin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in the town of Sochi, a meeting that marks the first trip to Russia by the German head of government since 2015, an indication of an attempt to reactivate the dialogue between Berlin and Moscow.

Relations between the two are strained by the crisis in Ukraine, which triggered a level of tension between Moscow and the European Union that was not recorded since the end of the Cold War.
Throughout this period, Merkel was a strong supporter of the Europeans' imposed sanctions on Moscow for the annexation of the Crimea and for a supposed role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In the negotiations, she was also the main interlocutor.
This is Merkel's first trip to Russia since her lightning visit to Moscow on May 10, 2015, when tension was at its peak in the conflict in Ukraine.
At the time, Merkel, like most Western countries, boycotted the May 9 military parade celebrating 70 years of victory over Nazi Germany.
Since then, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin have met several times at summit meetings with the presidents of France, Fran├žois Hollande, and Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, to try to find a solution to the Ukrainian conflict, stagnant since the signing of the Minsk accords In February 2015.

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