Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a working meeting on August 18 in Germany. During their three-hour discussion, the two leaders discussed the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
According to German historian Jan Claas Behrends Nord Stream 2 is the main sticking point in Russia-Germany relations at the moment. As one of the main current transit countries, Ukraine in particular stands to lose from new pipeline. This has concerned the international community.
“Merkel understands that it’s sticking to the plans for Nord Stream 2 is extremely problematic. She has not completely moved away from it, it’s much bigger trouble than she anticipated.”
But the historian further commented that Merkel is unlikely to “backtrack” on Germany’s commitment to Nord Stream 2, due to the country’s desire to move away from nuclear power.
Behrends also stated that the summit does not signal any major change in Germany’s policy towards Russia and the situation in Ukraine. Germany still does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continues to seek an “international solution to the [situation in] Donbas.” Overall, the August 28 meeting was not a “big game-changer” for the two countries, Behrend says.
Hromadske journalist Liuda Kornievych spoke to historian Jan Claas Behrends to discuss the highlights and takeaways from the meeting between the German Chancellor and Russian President.
/By Sofia Fedeczko