Putin dances with the bride at Austrain Foreign Minister's wedding

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the centre-right People's Party (OeVP) and FPOe Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache are also expected at the ceremony.

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.

Merkel was a leading supporter of sanctions against Russian Federation over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

The pipeline will allow gas to be transported directly to Germany from Russian Federation without transiting through Ukraine. Beyond that, he can push for Germany and the European Union not to support further sanctions, particularly a second round that might hit businesses working with the Nord Stream 2 project.

"We need to strengthen the humanitarian effort in the Syrian conflict", he said ahead of a meeting with his German counterpart Angela Merkel at the government retreat of Meseberg castle north of Berlin.

From her end, Merkel will push for a Russian commitment to keep at least some gas transiting Ukraine, which earns transit fees from it. Putin has said he's open for shipments to continue if Ukraine settles a gas dispute with Russia.

The United States says it will increase Germany's dependence on Russian Federation for energy.

Putin also spoke about global reconstruction efforts and the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Also on the agenda for the two leaders is the Ukraine crisis, which "unfortunately does not advance at all", Putin said.

Putin, alongside Merkel, cited the pipeline as a key economic bond. U.S. President Donald Trump exited the deal in May.

Mr. Putin presented the bride with flowers and presents and went on to dance with her at the event in southern Austria near the border with Slovenia.

The two leaders both viewed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as a purely commercial venture, despite persistent fire by the USA and Ukrainian governments, Peskov said.

"We want to create new momentum in the Minsk (peace) process", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview to be published by Die Welt am Sonntag on Sunday. "She doesn't want to give up the chance of keeping Putin within a margin that is manageable for Germany".

Merkel opened her remarks by telling Putin that Russian Federation has an elevated responsibility to solve global crises.

"We can be cautiously optimistic", Juergen Hardt, foreign policy spokesman for Merkel's conservative bloc, told the Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspapers in an interview published on August 18. "For that he has to move", he said.

Critics view Putin's presence at the wedding as undermining of West's stance against Moscow.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.