Confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions and easing Europe’s energy concerns are expected to be the main talking points today in a meeting between the Russian and German leaders. President Vladimir Putin is hosting Chancellor Angela Merkel for two days of talks on a range of issues. German diplomats have said Merkel will urge Putin to push Iran to accept Moscow’s offer to enrich uranium on behalf of the Islamic Republic.
After preliminary talks yesterday Merkel spoke of Germany and Russia having what she called “a solid strategic position.” Business leaders from the two countries are also taking part in the summit in Siberia. Analysts say the Russians hope to receive assurances that Moscow will regain the privileged status it enjoyed under former chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel’s conservative mentor. It is thought the German delegation wants clarity on the security of Russia’s gas supply to the EU. That has come under question recently following warnings from energy giant Gazprom that it will turn to Asia and the US if its prevented from expanding in the EU.