Iran deal, Syrian crisis & Nord Stream 2: Putin, Merkel find common ground on tough intl issues

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The surprise visit announced earlier this week between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place in Meseberg Palace, 65km north of Berlin, on Saturday afternoon. Putin arrived in the 18th-century palace shortly after attending the wedding of Austrian FM Karin Kneissl.

Both Russia and Germany have been affected by US tariffs, while Moscow has also been hit by sanctions. As rifts with Washington grow, the two leaders found some common ground in their detailed three-hour talks.

Purely economic project Nord Stream 2

The €9.5 billion (US$10.8 billion) pipeline project was one of the key talking points at the meeting. During the Saturday media conference, Putin said the Nord Stream 2 is a "purely economic project" and does not mean the transit of gas through Ukraine will stop. "I am aware of the Federal Chancellor's position. All that matters to us is that this transit is economically feasible… and makes economic sense."

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