German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow for the last time as Chancellor.
German leaving the post of Chancellor at the end of September Angela Merkel and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin met on Friday in Moscow.
It was Merkel’s farewell visit, as she met Putin for the last time as Federal Chancellor. The meeting hit an opposition politician Alexei Navalnyin anniversary of the poisoning attempt. The case significantly strained German-Russian relations.
At a news conference after the meeting, Merkel again said she had called on Putin to release Navalny. Putin replied that the Navalnyi have not been sentenced to prison for his political activism.
The Navalny were sentenced in February to two and a half years in prison for old charges of embezzlement, widely regarded as political. Navalnyi was arrested as soon as he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been hospitalized and recovering from poisoning.
Navalnyi for its part, on Thursday, called on the West to step up its efforts to tackle global corruption. He urged the West to challenge leaders of authoritarian regimes – like Putin – in corruption at international meetings, even if it was embarrassing.
Navalnyi spoke of his thoughts in a letter he wrote about the prison, which was published on Thursday in a British In The Guardian and Le Monde, France.
Merkel and Putin discussed Russian media according to Friday nearly three hours. The agenda included Afghanistan, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the situation in eastern Ukraine, Libya and Syria, and Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Merkel praised Friday’s meeting as constructive despite all the disagreements. Merkel and Putin have always felt some degree of aversion to each other, but nonetheless, the conversational connection has been maintained for the 16 years that Merkel has served as Federal Chancellor.
Merkel will be elected successor in the German Bundestag elections at the end of September. Putin has not yet announced whether he intends to run in the 2024 presidential election.