Merkel and Putin: A grudging relationship - BBC News
The relationship between Germany's Angela Merkel and Russia's Vladimir Putin has gone through some tough times. And it all started so. It's always awkward when he meets with Angela Merkel. lost on Merkel, whose relationship with Putin extends back even beyond her year. Russian President Vladimir Putin flew into Berlin late Saturday afternoon a brittle relationship with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and.
For Merkel, the physicist, the fall of the Berlin Wall in was a godsend that launched her extraordinary career as a politician.
For Putin, who was living in the East German city of Dresden at the time, it was a calamity that led within two short years to the collapse of the Soviet Union - an event the Russian leader has described as the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. Merkel, a fan of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, won a trip to Moscow as a teenager for her mastery of the Russian language.
Aides say their conversations follow the same pattern to this day.Meet The Putin Whisperer: Germany's Angela Merkel
The conversations have not been easy, according to German sources. Putin speaks a lot, sometimes endlessly.
At times emotional and angry, he tries to bully with a mix of genuine and calculated outrage. The reserved Merkel waits patiently for the right time to make her points.
Merkel has described her conversations with Putin as challenging tests for her own arguments. She feels that she cannot afford to show any weakness.
In public, Merkel took care not to criticize Putin too loudly in the first weeks of the Ukraine crisis, fearing it would backfire and make the Russian leader harden his positions. On Thursday in Brussels, she said the EU would follow the United States in introducing visa bans and asset freezes unless Putin moved quickly towards a negotiated settlement on Ukraine.
The new tone was a reminder of the different world views in a relationship that is based firmly on strategic interests rather than friendship.
- Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel: Through good times and bad
- Merkel and Putin: A grudging relationship
Through good times and bad He has been ruling Russia since She has been ruling Germany since Putin was the fresh-faced president of a new and modern Russia. After meeting Putin in the Kremlin, Merkel reportedly joked to her aides that she had passed the "KGB test" of holding his gaze — an allusion to Putin's earlier career in the Soviet security agency. Talking to Merkel in Russia's Berlin embassy, Putin pledged to expand the ties between the two countries.
Merkel described the dialogue as "very open. A gap in Merkel's armor The German chancellor has a well-known fear of dogs.
Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel: Through good times and bad | All media content | DW |
Still, Putin let his black lab Konni wonder around the Sochi venue when he welcomed Merkel there in January Was he trying to intimidate her? Merkel seems to think so: Too thin-skinned on media ByVladimir Putin had taken on a harsher course towards the press and political dissenters. When asked about media freedom while in Saint Petersburg, Merkel responded with a barely hidden jab at her fellow leader: Talks continue into the ice age Relations between Moscow and the West took a steep plunge after the annexation of Crimea in However, Putin told German media that he still maintained a "business-like relationship" with the German chancellor.