Putin attends wedding of Austrian foreign minister

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The two leaders discussed Syria, Ukraine and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Russian Federation attaches great importance to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with Germany and energy is one its priorities, President Vladimir Putin told reporters before the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In May, Merkel travelled to Sochi to meet her Russian counterpart.

Russia-Germany Pipeline "Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic project", Putin said, adding that the Ukrainian transit route should be economically viable.

The United States is pressing Germany to halt work on the pipeline, arguing that it will increase Germany's dependence on Russian Federation for energy.

The project became controversial after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Germany of being a "captive of Russia" for buying its gas.

Ukraine's government has been a fierce opponent of the project.

Putin also spoke about worldwide reconstruction efforts and the humanitarian situation in Syria.

"It's important to help those areas that the refugees can return to", he said.

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Merkel said the talks would also touch on the possibility of establishing a United Nations mission to help bring about peace in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) congratulates Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl as he attends her wedding with Austrian businessman Wolfgang Meilinger in Gamlitz, southern Austria, on Saturday. "It's a work meeting from which no specific results are expected, but the number of problems we are preoccupied with - from Ukraine and Syria to the issue of economic cooperation - is so big that it is justified to be in a permanent dialogue".

"I think it's in everyone's interests, including Europe's".

Germany has accepted hundreds of thousands of migrants since 2015 - the height of the migration crisis - which has weakened Angela Merkel politically and split the European Union.

Austrian politician Joerg Leichtfried of the opposition Social Democratic Party criticised Kneissl's decision to invite Putin to the wedding.

Members of the country's Green Party are among those calling for the foreign minister to resign over Mr Putin's invitation.

"Vladimir Putin is the most aggressive foreign adversary of the EU". He gave them a cold press oil machine, a traditional Russian samovar and a landscape painting that "depicts the place where the groom hails from", his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies. She was chosen as foreign minister by Austria's far-right Freedom Party, now a partner in the coalition government.

He said Putin's attendance would be great publicity for the country: "A better advertisement for Austria, its wonderful nature, dreamlike landscape and real life hospitality can not exist!"

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