Germany’s Merkel defends idea of summit between EU and Putin

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended the idea of holding a European Union meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin — an idea that was rejected last week by eastern EU members. She argued Monday that it would offer an opportunity to confront Putin with European concerns. At a summit on Friday, EU leaders agreed only to “explore formats and conditionalities of dialogue with Russia.” There was no mention of any high-level meetings or plans for a summit with Putin, an idea that Germany and France had pushed. The outcome reflected deep divisions in the 27-nation EU’s approach to Moscow.