Merkel and Putin to hold talks on new Baltic pipeline

The two leaders will meet this weekend (PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office is planning weekend talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Germany on issues including the development of a contentious Baltic Sea natural gas pipeline.

Mrs Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the two leaders will meet on Saturday at the German government’s guest house outside Berlin.

The Nord Stream 2 project will add to an existing direct Russian-German pipeline, increasing the amount of natural gas Russia can send to central Europe skirting transit countries to Germany’s east.

Several eastern European countries object to the plan, which the United States also opposes.

Mr Seibert said Germany’s position is that it is “important Ukraine retains a role as a transit country” for Russian gas.

The leaders will also discuss ending the Syrian conflict, the situation in eastern Ukraine and bilateral topics.