FILE - In this July 7, 2017 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel prior to the first working session on the first day of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany. Merkel and Putin will meet on Saturday in the German government's guesthouse Meseberg, north of Berlin, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. The topics will include the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, and energy questions. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

Merkel, Putin share a headache: Donald Trump

August 17, 2018 - 3:41 am

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin will have plenty to talk about when they meet Saturday — thanks in no small part to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The two will meet at the German government's guest house outside Berlin and will give short statements beforehand but aren't planning a news conference, German officials have said. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert has said that topics will include the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, and energy questions.

Putin is facing the possibility of more U.S. sanctions on Russia imposed by Trump, and has an interest in softening or heading off any European support for them. Meanwhile, while both countries want to move ahead with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline — roundly criticized by Trump as a form of Russian control over Germany.

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