Merkel, Putin tackle Syria and Iran in meeting outside Berlin

Angela Merkel at a refugee camp in Berlin. The row over immigration almost tore the government apart this summer

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he plans to discuss "humanitarian aid" for Syria to help refugees return home, warning German Chancellor Angela Merkel that a renewed migrant crisis would be a disruptive burden.

Both Russia and Germany have been affected by U.S. tariffs, while Moscow has also been hit by sanctions.

Germany is seeking a political solution on Syria that would create conditions for refugees to return, though "we're still a long way away from that", Seibert said on Wednesday.

Kneissl, 53, who married businessman Wolfgang Meilinger, invited Putin to the ceremony when the Russian president was visiting Vienna this year, presidential advisor Yuri Ushakov said.

After Trump met Putin while attacking Merkel and the German economy, Janning says, "she needs to have her own contact with Putin".

Merkel and Putin shared concerns about the "unpredictability of decisions, especially in the area of tariffs, taken by some states" and "the concern that such decisions may have in the end negative consequences for global trade economic relations system", Peskov said - a clear reference to Trump's trade wars against China, Europe and others.

Putin told reporters that such a move had to make sense for Moscow from a business perspective.

With Austria priding itself on neutrality, the invitation surprised many in Vienna and Moscow, particularly at a time when the European Union is at odds with Russian Federation over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and other issues.

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

The Iran nuclear deal, which was recently ditched by the USA, humanitarian efforts in war-ravaged Syria, and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project...

The United States and some European countries have criticized the pipeline, saying it could increase Europe's energy dependence on Russian Federation, harm Ukraine - now a major gas transit country - and pose an environmental risk.

"We need to strengthen the humanitarian effort in the Syrian conflict", he said on Saturday before the evening meeting with the German chancellor at...

The worldwide coverage of the visit would bring priceless publicity, he added. The two leaders took no questions.

Yet the foreign ministry insisted that Putin's visit "will not change anything in terms of Austria's foreign policy positions". But she was appointed to her job by the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) which has a cooperation agreement with Putin's United Russia party.

"It was very good trip and nice", Putin said of the jaunt to southern Austria, near the border with Slovenia.

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