Merkel called for “direct contacts” between the EU and Putin

German Chancellor says dialogue between US and Russian presidents is not enough

The European Union should seek direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to improve relations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.

“In my view, we, as the European Union, should seek direct contact between Russia and the Russian president,” Merkel said in what may be her last speech before the lower house of the Bundestag as chancellor.

“It’s not enough that the U.S. president is talking to the Russian president. I very much welcome that, but the EU should also create forums for dialogue,” she added.

Merkel will not run for a fifth term in the September election.