Merkel Favors U.S.-Russia Summit in Nod to Trump After G-7

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she favors a U.S.-Russian summit, seeking to point global diplomacy forward after a tumultuous meeting of Group of Seven leaders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin wasn’t invited to the G-7 summit in Canada, although U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he be readmitted. In an echo of Cold War meetings on neutral ground, Austria is encouraging the U.S. to hold a summit with Putin in Vienna, a White House official said last week.

“I’m certainly in favor of that,” Merkel said in a German television interview. “I’d even wish for that to happen -- that two presidents meet for an extended period of time.”

Merkel’s comment was one of two nods to Trump during her hourlong ARD interview after returning from the G-7. She also said the U.S. president wasn’t entirely wrong in pressing Germany to increase defense spending, which didn’t prevent Trump from a renewed attack on Europe’s military outlays.

Almost 18 months into Trump’s presidency, Merkel’s comments offered evidence of Germany’s struggle to adapt to an upended relationship with the U.S. Echoing a series of comments she’s made about the erosion of U.S.-European ties, Merkel expressed consternation about Trump’s disavowal of the G-7’s joint closing statement.

 Read more at Bloomberg News

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