Merkel pays Putin a visit on farewell tour

Moscow, Aug 20 (EFE).- German chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday acknowledged disagreements with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin as she held a farewell meeting at the Kremlin.

“Even if we have deep disagreements, we are talking to one another and it should stay that way,” she told Putin in what will be her final visit to Moscow as chancellor before she steps down next month.

Merkel and Putin discussed bilateral ties and foreign policy with regards to Libya and Afghanistan.

“This is my farewell tour,” Merkel said. “As I said before, not just a farewell tour, but a working trip. There are things to keep us busy.”

Before arriving at the Kremlin, Merkel laid a bouquet of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which pays homage to those killed during World War II.

Putin welcomed Merkel with a bouquet of roses, and highlighted that Germany was Russia’s second-largest trading partner after China.

“Thank you for your efforts over the last 16 years as chancellor,” he said.

Merkel was first elected as chancellor in 2005, five years after Putin became president of Russia.

In her farewell tour, she is due to travel on Sunday to Ukraine where she will show support for the Minsk peace accords, designed to hold the peace in eastern Ukraine.

She will also have to defend the Nord Stream gas pipeline project between Berlin and Moscow, which is heavily criticized by Kiev. EFE

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