Both sides at the talks affirmed support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline being built from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, said Malte Lehming in Tuesday’s issue of the German newspaper.
Warsaw and Washington have both strongly criticised the gas link project amid concerns that the pipeline will make the European Union more dependent on Russian gas.
Lehming said that Merkel's talks with Putin lasted almost four hours, but controversial topics, such as the murder of an immigrant from Georgia in Berlin, were deliberately excluded from the agenda. Common interests prevailed, Lehming added.
He described Berlin's approach as "a realistic policy” calculated to get business done.
Lehming added that the German government had ditched two principles dating from the Cold War which had up to now guided German policy. These were not to treat the US government as a rival and the principle that Russia is an opponent.
Meanwhile, German tabloid Bild has a sharper take on Merkel’s relations with Russia.
Putin is taking the lead on issues including Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Iran, Julian Roepcke commented in Bild.
“Merkel politely nods to everything, accepting every cynical provocation," Roepcke added.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last May that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.
US Vice President Mike Pence warned last year that America “cannot ensure the defence of the West” if its allies grow dependent on Moscow as a result of projects such as Nord Stream 2.