Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) enter the hall during their joint press conference in Sochia, Russia, on May 18, 2018. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 18 for bilateral talks on Syria, violence in eastern Ukraine and energy issues, according to a German government spokesman.
Why it matters: The energy question will be of particular interest to the U.S. because of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a project that President Trump has repeatedly criticized. Trump has said Germany is "totally controlled" by Russia because of the planned pipeline and wants Germany — an enormous gas purchaser — to buy liquefied natural gas from the U.S. instead.