BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's office says she plans weekend talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany on issues including the development of a contentious Baltic Sea natural gas pipeline.
Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday the two leaders will meet Saturday at the German government's guest house outside Berlin.
The Nord Stream 2 project will add to an existing direct Russian-German pipeline, increasing the amount of natural gas Russia can send to central Europe skirting transit countries to Germany's east. Several eastern European countries object to the plan, which the United States also opposes.
Seibert says Germany's position is it's "important Ukraine retains a role as a transit country" for Russian gas.
The leaders will also discuss ending the Syrian conflict, the situation in eastern Ukraine and bilateral topics.