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Merkel set to host Putin this week

Merkel and Putin
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.

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