BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Olaf Scholz will discuss Russia with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, said a German government spokesperson, as major Western powers aim to resolve tensions with Russia regarding Ukraine.
A spokesperson for the German government declined to comment on a report saying Scholz turned down an invite at short notice from U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss the Ukraine crisis.
Macron’s office said on Friday that the Jan 25 meeting in Berlin with Scholz would discuss international security and other topics such as the online economy, climate change and Germany’s presidency of the G7 group of leading world nations.
German magazine Der Spiegel had reported that Scholz’s tripto Madrid, many appointments and his desire to appear present inGermany due to developments in the coronavirus pandemiccontributed to the decision.
The top Russian and U.S. diplomats played down any prospect of resolving differences over Ukraine at talks on Friday, but Washington hoped they would reduce tensions over a Russian troop build-up that has stoked fears of a new conflict.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)