The purpose of the visit of German chancellor to Sochi was to prepare with president Putin the G20 meeting in Hamburg, according to Valdai Club expert Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz, former German ambassador to Britain and Russia.
According to Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz, Permanent representative of Germany at the NATO Council (1989-93) Ambassador to the UK (1999-2002) and to Russia (2002-2005), the purpose of the visit of German chancellor to Sochi was to prepare with president Putin the G20 meeting in Hamburg. Russian president is one of the important participants in that meeting. "Of course, on the occasion of this visit the chancellor and the president discussed a number of current international issues but I don’t think that the ambition went as far as to have a breakthrough in all of the big problems which we share”, the expert said.
“In Germany there will be national elections in September. As far as I can say, the issue which came up in other countries’ elections was interfering with the process <…> and President Putin repeated that it was not Russian policy to interfere. We take notes”.
Merkel and Putin discussed the state of implementation of the Minsk agreement, that was made public in the press conference. Both know that the issue of sanctions didn’t change and depends on full implementation of the Minsk agreement. "As far as I know, but I wasn’t present at the conversation, the issue of sanctions did not play a role”, the expert said.
“I think the situation in Ukraine and particularly in the eastern provinces is very complicated and it is true that certain steps which were promised by Kiev have not been taken yet, but it is also true that it is very difficult for Kiev to take these steps if fighting still continues in the Eastern provinces. These things are very, very complicated and the fact is that both leaders expressed determination to contribute to full implementation. This is probably a serious message to both parties in Ukraine”, von Ploetz concluded.