Merkel's Biographer Says Her Conversations With Putin in 2014 'Looked Like Duels'
13:39 GMT 30.07.2021 (Updated: 13:47 GMT 30.07.2021)
© Sputnik / Mikhail KlimentyevGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin speak at a press conference at the Kremlin on Saturday, 11 January 2020
© Sputnik / Mikhail Klimentyev/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - On 15 July, German historian and journalist Ralph Bollmann published an 800-page book entitled "Angela Merkel: The Chancellor and Her Time", covering the entire life of the "most influential female politician in the world". C.H. Beck, the publisher, has provided Sputnik with a copy in German.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel held dozens of phone negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, with the heads of government speaking straightforwardly and sometimes even raising their voices, according to a new biography of the German chancellor published by Ralph Bollmann.
According to the book, official statements were only made on 27 conversations. The chancellor, however, did not want to visit Moscow because she had "no chance of success and [the] risks of being humiliated by Putin seemed too high for her".
"The phone calls of the two leaders often looked like duels and were up to the point [of being so]", the biography read.
© AP Photo / Jens MeyerGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for a conference on Libya at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for a conference on Libya at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020
© AP Photo / Jens Meyer
Per employees listening to the two's phone calls, Putin talked a lot, sometimes for long stretches, taking up much more than half of the time, becoming at times "emotional, passionate, and even angry", the book went on. Merkel was calmer and more brief in her answers.
"Their conversations were free… In other words, they sometimes even raised [their] voices", Bollmann writes in his book.
In her conversations with Putin, Merkel applied her experience in talks with political opponents and resorted to the tactic deployed during Eurozone crisis negotiations. Confrontations with such opponents as Roland Koh and Silvio Berlusconi prepared her for a standoff with Putin, the biographer says.
In April 2014, Kiev launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk after they refused to recognise the new central authorities, who came to power after what Donbass deems a coup. In March 2014, Crimea rejoined Russia after nearly 97% of voters supported the move in a referendum.