Merkel held a secret meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and head Russian staff general Valery Gerasimov, who was barred from entry by sanctions imposed in 2014 over the Crimean issue. As far as what Merkel let on, the meeting covered the conflict in the Middle East, specifically Syria, and the conflict in the Ukraine. But German opposition parties are not taking Merkel’s tight lipped position on the specific details of what was discussed on these issues sitting down. They want to know what was discussed, and why the meeting was not announced.
German opposition parties have criticised Chancellor Angela Merkel for not providing more detail of her discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the head of Russia’s military general staff Valery Gerasimov.
A spokeswoman for Merkel had on Tuesday (24 July) disclosed the meeting, also attended by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and said the talks centered on Syria, the situation in the Middle East and the conflict in Ukraine. She gave no further details.
Greens lawmaker Omid Nouripour told the mass-circulation Bild it was “hard to believe” that Germany had used a waiver to allow Gerasimov to visit Germany even though he has been barred from entering the European Union under sanctions imposed in April 2014, after Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine.
He criticized Merkel’s government for failing to provide details of the reason and substance of the surprise talks, and said his party would now “pursue the issue parliamentarily”. It was not immediately clear what such action could entail.
Bijan Djir-Sarai, foreign policy spokesman for the pro-business Free Democrats, said it was “regrettable and odd” that the German government was being so tight-lipped about the meeting, and had not announced it ahead of time.
He told the paper the silence on the matter was “suspicious”.
The paper quoted Ulrike Demmer, deputy government spokeswoman, as saying the meetings were confidential.
The meeting took place prior to a similar such gathering with French President Emmanuel Macron on the same content matter. What specifically did the Russians and the Germans, and the French, discuss about Syria and Ukraine? German opposition parties intend to take this up in Parliament to try to get some answers out of Merkel. Similarly, following Trump’s July 16 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Democratic opposition party featured some members who were interested in what happened behind the scenes at the meeting between the two leaders, even to the degree of proposing the concept of issuing a subpoena for Trump’s interpreter so as to discover the meeting’s contents. Trump’s opposition is anxious to find out if there was anything said that could be used as dirt on Trump perhaps to claim that maybe there really is some collusion between Trump and Putin. The Russophobic parties in both America and Europe are seemingly of the same mind, and they certainly won’t abide any meetings which don’t provide them with an ear.