Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Putin on the Ritz: Russian president dances at foreign minister's wedding

Angela Merkel at a refugee camp in Berlin. The row over immigration almost tore the government apart this summer Angela Merkel at a refugee camp in Berlin. The row over immigration almost tore the government apart this summerFABRIZIO BENSCH REUTERS
Leonard Rios | 19 August, 2018, 22:40

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would discuss the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as Iran and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting on Saturday.

On Syria, Germany wants Putin to finalize a lasting cease-fire there in agreement with the United States.

"I would like to stress that the main thing is that the Ukrainian transit - which is traditional for us - meets economic demands", he said.

Austrian authorities imposed tight security measures around the site of the ceremony near the southern border with Slovenia, where Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl married her partner Wolfgang Meilinger, a businessman.

Merkel, hosting Putin for their first bilateral talks in Germany since 2013, opened by telling him that Russian Federation has an elevated responsibility to step up and help solve a range of conflicts, notably Syria and Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters no agreements were reached, but the meeting had been meant to simply "check the watches" after Merkel's meeting with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in May.

For all their differences, Merkel and Putin agreed that they want to preserve the nuclear accord with Iran after Trump withdrew US support for the deal.

She welcomed the start of discussions among the European Union, Ukraine, and Russian Federation on the issue.

"Nord Steam 2 is purely an economic project and it doesn't close the door to shipping gas through Ukraine", Putin said.

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Pogba converted his second penalty in as many games after Duffy upended Fellaini, but it was too little, too late for United. England men Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard joined the fray with United desperate for an injection of pace and incision.

Priyanka and Nick dance to celebrate engagement
First I'm blessed with an incredible future brother-in-law, and now such a handsome , inside and out, future sister-in-law". The priest who performed the ritual confirmed to reporters it had just happened as he exited.

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An Iraqi official had said Saturday that Abadi would visit both neighboring Turkey and Iran to discuss economic issues. President Donald Trump's , unilateral withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

"In my view Ukraine must retain its role in the transit of gas", Merkel told the WSJ on Saturday.

In the years since Putin's previous bilateral visit to Germany, he and Merkel have met at global events including the 2017 Group of 20 summit in Hamburg.

Yet the foreign ministry insisted that Putin's visit "will not change anything in terms of Austria's foreign policy positions". Topics during the bilateral talks include Ukraine, Syria and the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany that the United States and some European countries object to.

In his comments, Peskov said Merkel and Putin had a "general exchange of opinions" over the situation in Ukraine and that the leaders expressed regret that implementation of the so-called Minsk accords had stalled.

Turkey on Wednesday doubled tariffs on several USA goods, including alcohol and tobacco products and cars, after Trump increased US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Putin was a surprise guest at the wedding of Karin Kneissl, an independent who was selected for her post by Austria's pro-Russian far-right party, according to reports.

"It was a nice trip."
"It was a private visit".

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