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Germany has often acted as an important, if sometimes shaky, bridge between Russia and Western Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in Communist East Germany and speaks Russian, holds no sentimental attachment to Russia and has taken a strong pro-Ukraine position regarding the country’s conflict with Russia. But she also meets regularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including for nearly six hours at the recent G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia. Her subsequent speech harshly criticized Putin’s actions in Ukraine and urged Western resolve against him.
But Putin had prepared for this. Merkel is the most powerful …read more