This weekend, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin held talks in Meseberg Palace and are mostly on the same page regarding the Iran nuclear deal, humanitarian efforts in war-ravaged Syria, and the Baltic Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Both Russia and Germany have been affected by US tariffs, while Moscow has also been hit by sanctions. As rifts with Washington grow, the two leaders found some common ground in their detailed three-hour talks.

The €9.5 billion (US$10.8 billion) pipeline project was one of the key talking points at the meeting. During the Saturday media conference, Putin said the Nord Stream 2 is a “purely economic project” and does not mean the transit of gas through Ukraine will stop.

Merkel and Putin are obviously aware of the backlash from Washington and some Western politicians on the joint project between Gazprom and Western European energy giants.

European Council President Donald Tusk has campaigned endlessly for the cancellation of Nord Stream 2 ever since it was announced in 2015. US President Donald Trump has also expressed strong opposition to the project, calling Germany a captive of Russian energy.

The US leader has made no secret of American ambitions either, promising during his last whirlwind tour of Europe that Europeans will be buying “vast amounts” of more expensive US-produced liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Both the Russian leader and the German chancellor are in favor of preserving the milestone Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Putin insisted that it is important “to preserve this multilateral agreement” approved by the UN Security Council, which aims @ “strengthening regional and global security and the nuclear non-proliferation.”

The leaders also tackled the crisis in Syria, which is trying to get back on its feet after terrorists were expelled from large parts of the country. Putin pointed out the intensifying flow of refugees returning home and called on European countries to support the process. / ABC Flash Point Political News 2018.

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