Russia hosts German leader to mend ties

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in St Petersburg in Russia, helping to mend ties between the two countries.

Germany is Russia’s biggest single trading partner but relations were badly damaged when Moscow sent troops into Georgia in August , prompting much criticism from Merkel.

At press conference though it was all smiles, the apparently warm welcome signalling relations may be back on track.

The German Chancellor called for a stronger United Nations, and with the world gripped in a financial crisis she suggested a better supervisory role for the International Monetary
Fund and new rules for the financial markets.

Merkel said she had been considering tighter controls on banking and financial systems long before the present crisis.

Merkel’s host, Russian President Medvedev, said talks would focus on a new seven billion euro gas pipeline to deliver Siberian gas to Europe.

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