Trump and Merkel talked about Ukraine: how was the meeting of world leaders and what it will bring

This week in the “top charts” of world news was the election results in the Netherlands and the results of the first meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald trump, which moved from Tuesday, March 14, to Friday, March 17, due to the heavy snowfall in America. The Chancellor became the sixth foreign leader, which trump took the White House. On the eve of all Western analysts and experts predicted heavy enough to meet and negotiate. Everyone remembers how the us President criticized Germany, migration policy calling Merkel a “catastrophic mistake”. Merkel, in turn, refrained from counter-criticism. However for talks with trump brought representatives of BMW and Siemens, that the Western media dubbed as “the way to heart is through trump’s business”. At the joint after negotiations a press-conferences the US President assured the Chancellor of Germany in support of NATO and the EU. The leaders agreed to strengthen close economic cooperation, and also discussed the situation in Ukraine. Personally for Merkel talks with the trump – signal to their opponents in Germany, that support the powerful. The race in Germany is in full swing and the position of the Chancellor is very precarious – right wing politicians with the support of the Kremlin is doing everything to prevent the re-election of Merkel in the fourth term. But according to European experts, the last day before elections in the Netherlands showed that the Europeans are not yet ready for right-wing populists.

So similar, but so different. The meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the new American President Donald trump is not only the first, now given the new status of trump, but after sharp criticism of three Merkel on the issue of the migration crisis and Germany’s position in the EU. Ahead of the visit of the Chancellor in the United States, the German newspaper Bild in its author’s article gave tips to the American leader in negotiations with Merkel. So, according to the journalists of Bild, Merkel though the house and call “mom”, this is deceptive.

“Her trick is to keep calm and wait for the alpha males will make a mistake”, – the newspaper notes, reminding of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who made fun of Merkel but then he had to “swallow the decisions of austerity in the EU”. In addition, the Bild is not recommended to give Merkel the flowers and not to practice a long handshake. “Tsar of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin tried to give flowers and received a parting gift – candy. But the message is the following: the Russian bear has a sweet tooth as sweet,” – says the article.

No flowers, no long handshakes were not.

But with the release of the joint press briefing the leaders of Germany and the United States was late by almost an hour – too long seen eye to eye. According to representatives of the White House, the talks, the two leaders tried to smooth over all the sharp corners, to put aside differences to work together to strengthen transatlantic cooperation.

“The motto of this meeting was the thesis of Angela Merkel “to talk to each other and not about each other”, she voiced, including during a press briefing together with the President of the United States Donald trump. Since glaunoy aims for the one and the other side was to understand as best as possible of each other’s positions on key issues of world politics, especially against the background of contradictory statements that voiced the 45th President of the United States, the EU, NATO, the possible relations with Russia, on bilateral trade. Therefore, for the Chancellor was fundamentally to understand, what is the purpose of future policy, the US President, to have a clear idea how to build their own foreign policy strategy,” – said the “Today” analyst of the Institute of world politics Nicholas Beleskov.

According to the German media in Germany are seriously worried that trump would follow his campaign slogan “America first” literally, distancing Washington from Berlin. And considering that personal relationship between Merkel and trump leaves much to be desired, according to analysts, the strong friendship the U.S. and Germany, as during the presidency of Barack Obama may falter.

The first meeting of the tramp and Merkel held ahead of the G7 and NATO, which will be held in late may and the G20 summit, scheduled for early July in Hamburg. “A meeting was also held on the eve of the jubilee summit of the EU, which will be considered five options for further development of the EU, – writes in his blog for “Today” program co-Director of foreign policy and international security of the Razumkov Center Mykhailo Pashkov. – US policy towards the EU until kristallizuetsya. Merkel it was important to probe the position of the trump in that important summit. A meeting was held on the eve of the NATO summit, which invited trump. And then, of course, Merkel is also very important to know the position and evaluation of the head of the White House for further cooperation, NATO and the United States. Including in the context of quite hard-line positions, stated the US regarding the increased funding of military budgets of NATO countries and a fairly rigid US position on this issue, which recently was voiced by Secretary of state”.

But more importantly, German and American leaders met before the trip of Angela Merkel to Moscow in may, which will raise the question of the further fate of anti-Russian sanctions, “Norman format”, Minsk agreements and Russia’s behavior in intentional sabotage of the peace settlement of the war in the Donbass.

“The Ukrainian issue will be 100% up – unofficially told “Today” on the eve of the meeting, trump and Merkel sources in the Ukrainian dipkrugah. – Before Merkel’s visit to Washington was consulted on the level of Ukrainian and German advisers. Merkel wants to increase the “channel format”. We (the Ukrainian side – Ed.) expert-level “Normandy format” negotiations continue to attract Americans, which showed the Russian as they say, Gruel.”

According to Nikolai Belenkova, a week before the visit, it became known that trump is particularly interested in Merkel’s vision of how the United States can facilitate a solution to the conflict and Ukraine.

At a joint press conference, Donald trump stressed the efforts of France and Germany in the “Norman format” and thanked Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, Recalling that the peaceful settlement is the most acceptable way of resolving conflict. Angela Merkel, in turn, noted that in the framework of the “Norman format” on the implementation of “Minsk agreements” “we have not achieved everything that wanted, but we will continue to work with experts in this area.” To trump the conversation with Merkel face to face was valuable because the Chancellor of Germany, according to a senior researcher of the Brookings institution (USA) Robert Bosch as no one else knows of Vladimir Putin, his tactics and behavior. “The Russians now have mobilized all resources to Merkel lost the election. They use their media in the EU, place a paid article, funded by far-right populists”, – said the “Today” sources in the Ukrainian dipkrugah.

Nicholas Beleskov
Analyst of the Institute of world politics

The agenda is actually addressed three sets of questions. Issue No. 1 as to the one and the other side were the issues of bilateral trade and US relations-EU in the economic sphere. Team Donald trump is actually right since the start of transition in their contacts with representatives of the government of Germany noted that the balance of bilateral trade is around 65 billion dollars in favor of Germany. And, accordingly, the new head of the White House is interested in correcting this situation, including through the signing of a bilateral trade agreement (however, the practice of the EU is prohibited). For its part, the German Chancellor is not in vain brought representatives of key German companies (including industry) to recall how many jobs created by German investment in the U.S. economy and keep Donald trump from the possible reckless steps in economic matters.

Issue No. 2 was the interaction, the USA and Germany within NATO as well as the attitude of the new American presidential administration in the EU. In fact, we are talking about security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region. In fact, here the parties during the negotiations came to a compromise in the issues of NATO – Donald trump has confirmed the U.S. commitment in the framework of this organization, while Angela Merkel reminded about the plans to reach the target of 2% GDP on defence until 2024 and the progress that has been made over the past two years on this issue. Because as you know for the White House fundamentally a matter of the allies in NATO spend the required minimum on defense. Also positive was the fact that Donald trump remembered the contribution of Germany in the framework of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, including human sacrifices made Bundesfer. Thus the American President have an understanding of the importance of existing alliances. In the EU, with their joint press conference was hard to understand, did Donald trump his point of view about the usefulness of this integration Association – because the White House has been very skeptical about the EU. Although Angela Merkel clearly stated that ensuring the existence and functioning of the EU is one of the pillars of its foreign policy.

And the third question is of course the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, as well as the position of Donald trump on this issue. Merkel tried behind closed doors to convey as clearly and distinctly the position of Germany on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict – this could not be a doubt. Despite the fact that a joint press conference the same cannot be said with 100% certainty that it succeeded, because Donald trump just noted the efforts of Germany and France to resolve the conflict. But it never said anything about the Minsk agreements and its respect for them, as well as a vision what to do with them, given the impossibility to implement them for more than two years. Namely the answers to these questions would be a real indicator of how a task handled Mrs Merkel and what to expect in the essence of Ukraine. But again I want to repeat that the Chancellor is likely made clear to US President that the lifting of sanctions against Russia with no real progress on implementation by the Kremlin of provisions of the Minsk agreements – this is the red line which is better not to go to Washington if they want to have good relations with Berlin. Now we just have to wait to see how Donald trump clearly understood the signal of Angela Merkel.

“No,” populism in the Netherlands. Surely remember the American and German leaders about the results of the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands and discussed the chances of a Merkel re-elected Chancellor for the fourth time. “Personal contacts between leaders is very important, both in terms of bilateral relations, and that Merkel has entered the campaign. “It is important to gain the understanding and if not then serious contacts with the leader of one of the leading countries in terms of the approval of its foreign policy”, – said Mikhail Pashkov.

The Germans in the elections have yet to show how they can counter the threat of populism and radical actions of right-wing politicians. But, according to Western experts and analysts, the past 15 of March parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, where he won the Pro-European party Prime Minister Mark Rutte revealed that Europe’s right-wing populism is not terrible. According to Dutch experts, a diplomatic scandal of Amsterdam and Ankara has become a real present for the election of Mark Rutte and his party. According to various opinion polls, many Dutch people approve of enough tough action by Dutch authorities against high-ranking Turkish officials. We will remind, on March 10, the Netherlands has cancelled the event with the participation of the Minister of social policy of Turkey in two Dutch cities with a significant Turkish community, declaring him persona non grata. The next day, the Dutch government repealed the authorization for landing aircraft with head of the Turkish foreign Ministry in Rotterdam. These meetings, according to the authorities of the Netherlands, could be used to campaign for changing the Turkish Constitution (the referendum in Turkey scheduled for April 16 – Ed.) but Holland sees this as a strengthening of the authoritarian regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Such actions are Holland, judging by the results of the parliamentary elections, significantly added to the votes the party of Mark Rutte. Instead of the projected 20-25 seats party of the premiere of “people’s party for freedom and democracy” received 33 seats in Parliament, won the election. “The Netherlands after Brexit, after the American elections, saying “stop” and populism. It seems that the “people’s party for freedom and democracy” will be the largest party in the Netherlands for the third time in a row,” said mark Rutte after the publication of the election results.

The force of the far-right populist Geert Wilders, who promised to ban the Koran, close the borders from refugees, to start the procedure of withdrawal of the Netherlands from the EU, in second place. His “freedom Party” has received 20 seats – 5 more than in 2012. The same number of seats, 19, got the party “Democrats-66” Alexander Pechtold and “Christian democratic appeal”. The “labour party”, which was part of the ruling coalition in the previous Parliament, lost a record 29 mandates, winning only 9 seats. The party “the Left Green” Essay Claver showed one of the best results in the history of its participation in the election, getting 14 seats – 10 more than in 2012. Passed in the Dutch Parliament and the ultra-radicals of the “Forum for democracy”, initiated the referendum on Association with Ukraine. They received two of the mandate.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Mark Rutte with the victory, stressing that the results of these elections will inspire many (referring to the upcoming elections in Germany and France – Auth.). The truth of the party, Rutte still be a difficult process of negotiations on forming a coalition government. To do this, in the ranks of the ruling majority must be at least 76 deputies, or 4 games.

Congratulated Rutte with the victory of Peter Poroshenko. “I congratulate the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte victory in the parliamentary elections. An example for all democracies, how to defeat populism,” wrote the President of Ukraine in Twitter.

Vitayu Prem courier-mnestra Nderland Mark Rutte z Peremoga on parlamentskikh elections. Butt for vsih democracies, Yak Peremogi popular.

— Petro Poroshenko (@Poroshenko) on 16 March 2017.

Earlier “Today” reported that the Netherlands depends on the completion of the ratification process of the Association Agreement EU-Ukraine. The lower house, where elections were held on March 15, ratified the agreement in February. It is now up to the Senate. And the victory of the party of the Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the election gives reason to say that very soon the Dutch Parliament will successfully finish the ratification and will give all documents for approval to Brussels.