Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station and Chinese security chief falls from grace

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

  • Deadly shelling strikes Gaza UN school

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Europe launches last resupply ship to space station

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

Medvedev, Merkel talks to focus on trade, Georgian crisis

Latest update : 2008-10-03

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Russian President Dmitri Medvedev on Thursday in St.Petersburg. Medvedev is expected to push for stronger ties with Germany and is also expected to discuss the "North Stream" gas pipeline project.

ST PETERSBURG - President Dmitry Medvedev hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday to try to resume "business as usual" with Russia's leading European partner after the August war in Georgia.
 

"The meeting is aimed at confirming the stability and maturity of the Russian-Georgian partnership free from political fluctuations," a Kremlin source told reporters ahead of a series of meetings in Medvedev's home city of St Petersburg.
 

Germany is Russia's biggest single trading partner with bilateral turnover expected to reach $60 billion this year. But ties were badly shaken in August when Russia sent troops into  Georgia drawing unanimous condemnation from the West.
 

Merkel has joined the chorus of Western critics who said the Georgia war, launched to crush Tbilisi's attempt to retake a separatist province of South Ossetia, had made "business as usual" impossible with Moscow and that ties should be reviewed.
 

But she has backed a deal mediated by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, under which Russia agreed to pull out of undisputed Georgian territories by Oct. 10 after the European Union deploys monitors in the Caucasus state.
 

Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia would carry out its promise on time. Top EU officials have said Moscow's readiness to adhere to the Sarkozy plan had helped to restart talks on Russia-EU cooperation pact.
 

Russia views the talks during the "St Petersburg Dialogue" -- an annual forum of officials and businessmen from the two countries -- as a good opportunity to mend ties.
 

"The leaders ... will hold an open exchange of opinions on the ways to restore solid peace and stability in the region, undermined by the Georgian aggression," the Kremlin source said referring to Russia's interpretation of the Georgi conflict.
 

Moscow says it had to send troops to Georgia to avoid bloodshed in the region where it has carried out a peacekeeping mission since the early 1990s.
 

Russia is striving to show that the Western condemnation of the Georgia war has not led to Russia's isolation in Europe. Last month Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Francois Fillon held an inter-government commission in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
 

The Kremlin source said Medvedev intends to focus at talks with Merkel on developing further political and economic ties, including the most ambitious project "North Stream" -- a gas pipeline to deliver Siberian gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea.
 

Russia and Germany say "North Stream" will boost gas supplies to Europe and make it less dependent on potential problems with transit states like Ukraine.
 

But some European governments, including Poland, say the project will deepen Europe's reliance on Russian energy supplies contradicting the EU policy of divercifying energy sources. Critics also say the project could be an environment threat.
 
"The sides are planning to discuss a political support to the plan of building on time the trans-border gas transit system "North Stream", aimed at strengthening the guarantees of Europe's long-term energy supplies," the Kremlin source said.

Date created : 2008-10-02

COMMENT(S)