The Moscow Times: Putin Seeks Common Cause With Merkel Over Trump21 May 2018 | 01:04 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin and Moscow have been at loggerheads since Russia's annexation of Crimea four years ago, but they share a common interest in the Nordstream 2 pipeline project, which will allow Russia to export more natural gas to northern Europe.
A U.S. government official this week said Washington had concerns about the project, and that companies involved in Russian pipeline projects faced a higher risk of being hit with U.S. sanctions.
"Donald is not just the U.S. president, he's also a good, tough entrepreneur," Putin said at a news conference, alongside Merkel, after the two leaders had talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
"He's promoting the interests of his business, to ensure the sales of liquefied natural gas on the European market," Putin said.
"I understand the U.S. president. He's defending the interests of his business, he wants to push his product on the European market. But it depends on us, how we build our relations with our partners, it will depend on our partners in Europe."
"We believe it (the pipeline) is beneficial for us, we will fight for it."
Merkel, who earlier in the day received a bouquet of pink and white roses from Putin as she arrived at his residence in Sochi, also hinted at tensions between Berlin and the Trump administration.
"North Stream Two is important to Putin mainly as a symbol of Germany’s independence from the U.S.," political analyst Vladimir Frolov said in comments to The Moscow Times.
"The challenge for Putin will be to exploit the rift between Europe and Trump’s disruptive policies in the U.S. to extract meaningful concessions from Europe in exchange for providing solidarity on saving the Iran deal and undermining U.S. sanctions," Frolov added.
© 2018 All rights reserved. Citing Focus Information Agency is mandatory!