Over the weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Moscow to discuss the US’s recent escalation with Iran, as well as the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, and Libya.
In a surprise to many, the meeting was warm and friendly with the two heads of state emphasising commonalities. Some have speculated that with the recent vacuum left by the US stepping back from its usual role in foreign policy, this new tact may become the status quo.
The two leaders renewed their commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action following the US drone strike that killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani and the announcement that Iran intends to abandon the deal’s restrictions on its uranium enrichment.
In a joint press conference, Merkel urged all sides to remain in the agreement, stating, “We will continue to employ all diplomatic means to keep this agreement alive, which is certainly not perfect but it is an agreement and it comprises commitments by all sides.”
The two leaders also agreed on other foreign policy topics. Merkel praised the Russia-Turkey call for a ceasefire in Libya, and in turn, Putin lent his support to the German government’s plans to hold a Libya Summit in Berlin. They also discussed the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline and were optimistic that the project would be completed in spite of US sanctions and objections from Eastern European countries.