Merkel to hold final Putin showdown at emergency summit before stepping down as leader

Merkel departure would have ‘major impact’ on EU says Butikofer

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The German Chancellor two days later will travel to Ukraine, he added. Talks are likely to focus on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany. It will one of Mrs Merkel’s last foreign missions before she steps down from the top job in September. 

The Kremlin press service also confirmed the meeting.

It said in a statement: “The parties are expected to discuss the current state of and the prospects for cooperation in various fields, as well as a number of pressing international and regional issues.”

President Putin and Mrs Merkel last held in-person talks in January 2020.

Since her last trip to the Russian capital, the German Chancellor has held numerous discussions over the telephone with her counterpart.

Their last discussion took place last month.

A videoconference involving Mr Putin, Mrs Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron was held in March.

Mrs Merkel is currently serving out her fourth term as Chancellor.

She will step down at the end of it after almost 16 years in charge.

The September 26 federal election will decide who succeeds her in the role.

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The issue of Nord Stream 2 has been one of the most contentious of Mrs Merkel’s reign.

The gas pipeline is hugely controversial, with its critics claiming Moscow could use it as leverage over Ukraine.

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The gas pipeline is hugely controversial, with its critics claiming Moscow could use it as leverage over Ukraine.

They fear that it will essentially hand control over Europe’s gas supply to Moscow.

US President Joe Biden’s administration is massively against the project, which has caused frictions between Berlin and Washington.

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