Angela Merkel on Her Last Official Visit to Moscow in Her Capacity as German Chancellor

Angela Merkel on Her Last Official Visit to Moscow in Her Capacity as German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is heading to Moscow on Friday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The visit comes during a low point in the relationship between the two countries, which continues to suffer from ongoing tensions over Moscow's treatment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and Russia's aggression towards Ukraine.

Other challenging issues that are certain to arise are the current crisis in Afghanistan, the disputed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and Alexander Lukashenko's repression of dissent in Belarus as well as his government's efforts to channel migrants into Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with the aim of destabilising the European Union.

Merkel's visit to Putin comes as the chancellor is nearing the end of her almost 16-year-long leadership of Germany.

Despite their many political differences, the two longtime leaders managed to hold up a line of communication over the years.

However, since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict in 2014, and Russia's continuously more authoritarian behavior the personal relationship between Merkel and Putin has also deteriorated.

Merkel's Russia visit will be one of her last trips abroad as Chancellor, as the 67-year-old does not run for office again in next month's national election.

Putin, 68, who has been in power for more than 20 years, is Russia's longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Under communism in the 1980s, he worked for the Soviet intelligence service the KGB in East Germany.

Putin and Merkel, who is fluent in Russian, always held up a line of communication true to Merkel's credo that relations in general can only...

Continue reading on: