the Beginning of the year Vladimir Putin was saturated. The President visited Damascus and met with Bashar al-Assad, in Istanbul with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated a gas pipeline “Turkish stream” and met in Moscow with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Details of these meetings and exclusive details – in the plot of the program “Moscow. The Kremlin. Putin” on TV channel “Russia 1”.

Meeting with Merkel

a line of Russian and German journalists on the talks between Putin and Merkel stretched such that many tourists, noticing it, immediately thought that the First building of the Kremlin’s doors are open to all.

for the First time in the winter and on the day of arrival Merkel in Moscow hosted the snowfall, and the city became even more beautiful. German Chancellor smiles widely and welcomes all in Russian. In the Kremlin, Angela Merkel did not come for almost 5 years. Her rare visits were in Sochi, where she said that Russia violates international law. But harder to defend this stance since the US had almost unleashed another major war, and German companies now work under the Damocles sword of us sanctions. And now Merkel in Moscow.

In the corridors of the Kremlin, it is also welcome employees of the Federal security service in Russian, smiling. And pending the start of negotiations the German journalists take a picture of that on which it is possible to assume that they have missed those interiors.

With interest looking at the paintings in the Kremlin, the painting is called “the Road”. Way Berlin’s relations with Moscow in recent years has been very winding, but when even your main ally – the US – and then almost threatening, and his policies around the world and leads to total destabilization of Russia, apparently, is not so much want to be accused of aggression, annexation and promise to her isolation.

a minute before the meeting with Putin, Merkel looks in the mirror and have time to discuss with assistants the beautiful Russian winter. And here it is a sign: everything is ready, you can log in.

Merkel, who said in Moscow in recent years, this time said: “I’m always convinced that it is better to talk to each other than about each other”.

Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany, Sergei Lavrov sees, and it’s like meeting great friends – I wish you a happy New year. The German Minister looks at his watch. And everyone here, of course, I wonder, until what time can last negotiations?

And Merkel is apparently prepared for a detailed conversation. Her assistants please keep a folder with some documents in his hands, and then, when journalists asked from the audience to come out, immediately take her Merkel. Chancellor opens it up and wants to start a dialogue with Putin, the Russian President clearly asks to wait a second until all the reporters will come. And it is clear that one of the key topics of the talks was extreme tension in the relations between Iran and the United States.

“as for the situation in General, I hope, to large-scale military conflicts will not come. The fact that there is a war, and so we see the so — called fighting low-intensity, but this is fighting, — stressed Putin. — We would like to avoid large-scale fighting. If this happens, it would be a disaster not only for the Middle East, but for the entire world. We understand where it leads. This will lead to more large-scale exoduses of people from the territories of their traditional residence, to new flows of refugees, not only in Europe but also in other regions. It will be a humanitarian disaster. Religious disaster, economic disaster, because it will lead to destruction or much damage to the world economy, for the global energy industry. We are going to discuss our joint efforts to prevent such adverse developments”.

victims of the escalating situation in the middle East were the passengers of the liner Tehran-Kiev – in a few hoursin to the talks between Putin and Merkel in the Kremlin, Iran has stated that the airliner was shot down.

“Innocent people died in a plane crash. Iran announced that it was a big mistake and found guilty. And of course, we must discuss the consequences of such a tragedy, you want to reach,” said Merkel.

How many terrible tragedies in recent years have occurred in this region due to the rocking of the situation from the outside. To normalize the situation, Russia’s actions have succeeded in Syria. Angela Merkel a few years ago insisted and almost demanded: Bashar al-Assad must go. “I certainly shared with the Chancellor the results of its recent visit to Damascus, negotiations with President Assad,” — said Putin. To introduce another relatively recently that Merkel met with Vladimir Putin just three days after his personal visit to the Assad regime, was hardly possible.


the View from portholes of the Russian side of the number 1. The footage was first shown on television. Syrian airspace. The su-35S fighter jets escorted the plane with the flag on the fuselage. They are so close to Putin’s plane that in this heavenly abyss can be clearly seen tactical number of the fighter and even the silhouette of the pilot. In the Windows the air force 1 look the Supreme commander and Minister of defense. Behind a Desk on approach to Damascus, Putin and Shoigu are passionately discussing something.

One thing to tell about some of their victory over ISIS (banned in Russia), as does the President of the United States, quite another to personally fly to the capital of the country, where for many years there is a difficult war. But thanks to the actions of the Russian army, Syria has become much safer. And here Putin’s plane is reduced, it flies so low that visible to many residential areas of the suburbs of Damascus and the capital itself.

Landing in countries where fighting is going on – especially dangerous moment. More recently, the airport in Damascus suspendedergasia intense shelling. But Putin’s plane has already decreased so much that the Russian flag on the wings can be seen even from the earth.

January 7, shortly after the Russian President met Christmas at the Church in St. Petersburg, he arrived in Syria. Putin sits in the SUV, and his motorcade is heading to Damascus. Footage shot from the Windows of the car are extremely valuable – give to feel and understand how in reality the situation in Syria.

the Capital is seething. A lot of cars, people everywhere. Damascus looks like and should look like a large Eastern city. Hundreds of people go to work, to the shops, to friends. Public transport are open and cafes.

Putin later I will say what I was thinking, seeing all this: “I was pleased that Damascus life. Just seen, I saw lots of transport, shops, cafes, restaurants.”

even here in the capital, used the shells exploded, powerful attacks, and monstrous acts of terrorism of steel at some point, almost routine.

through the busy streets of Damascus Putin arrives at the command post of the group of the Armed forces of Russia in Syria. At the entrance, waiting for his President.

Syria is now almost fly planes, and President Assad with interest asks about the usual for a peaceful life details, but especially important in this situation. Putin and Assad down a couple of flights down the stairs.

the Arrival of the President of Syria in Christmas and new year holidays – of course, the event is of special importance for the Russian military. The commander in chief with them.

it is Clear that this trip just could not take the journalists, because of the sound recording meets the press Secretary of the President Peskov. He kept the so-called rod, that is the microphone.

to Keep the bait falls on the outstretched hands, and (it knows every sound engineer) they get tired after a few minutes, and then did terribly numb. However, the sound is recorded accurately, and all can clearly hear what Putin said the Russian military in Syria: “I Want to emphasize that here you are not only helping Syria, and here you are defending your home”.

But Assad in Russian and thanked the Russian military and their Supreme commander.

the Events unfolding, that is, with wheels, without any preparation. Bilateral meeting between Putin and Assad. The Russian President made the interpreter a little nervous – a descent not so easy to translate the Russian proverb in Arabic.

“We have agreed that you do not shelving them”, — Putin said, and the interpreter hesitated to translate, apparently, “indefinitely”.

the Main result of the cooperation between Russia and Syria is obvious. “Just 2 years ago in this area we fell shells”, — said Assad.

How things have changed, again see with your eyes on the streets of Damascus. Together in one car, go on a tour around the old city. The President’s motorcade passing, and a very small narrow streets, when bystanders literally on the doorstep. The best illustration of how things are with safety in Damascus now.

And here Putin and Assad arrive to the Great mosque of Damascus. The Umayyad mosque is one of the largest and oldest in the world. It is located in an area that is considered sacred and is a place which really should tell you specifically. Here, in the mosque, believed to contain the incorrupt relics of St. John the Baptist. “This is the only place in the world where Muslims pray around the Christian Holy places,” — said Assad.

Christians call him John the Baptist, and Muslims – prophet Yahya. Sacred relics are stored in the sarcophagus, behind the glass, and make believers of all faiths. The story of this mosque shows how intertwined the global religion. Built a mosque on the site of the Byzantine, that is the Orthodox Church, and the ChurchOvi previously erected on the site of the Roman temple of Jupiter. In the mosque every day spread out a new Mat, as the believe that the sky will come down another prophet Issa — what the Bible called the second coming of Christ. The Russian President later shared his impressions: “We just visited the Umayyad mosque, which houses the head of John the Baptist. This is the best confirmation of the spiritual relationship of Christians and Muslims”. These words Putin has said the Orthodox Church of the virgin Mary.

Patriarch of Antioch and all the East John the Tenth was reminded that the Apostle Paul is believed to have converted to Christianity at the gates of Damascus. The faithful believe that on the road to Damascus he was blinded by the brightest light from heaven, the Apostle Jesus appeared to and told him to return the sight to go on the straight road to the Bishop’s home

– If trump is coming this way, too, it will be all right! – joked Bashar al-Assad.

– don’t worry. Invite, he will come, — said Putin.

– I’m ready.

– I’ll tell him!

In this Church are now permanent services, and the believers feel safe. “If not for the fighting, that we are together, this place would have long ago sat Baghdadi, — said the President of Syria. — So we want to thank you for the help you provide”. “We will continue together to do it, to achieve new heights,” he assured in response, Vladimir Putin.

And in the evening Damascus, Putin’s motorcade traveled too. The city has even illumination. The capital of Syria returns to civilian life. And right here, Putin flew to Istanbul, where Erdogan he had to discuss the situation in Syria and, most importantly, to open the gas pipeline “Turkish stream”.


People with a special mission — he is responsible for coat Erdogan. And here the Turkish leader is headed into the street to meet Putin, and there is wind and rain. He offered his coat, but he rather abruptly refusesI. Then the Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey, who was in the coat, begin to remove.

Putin and Erdogan first thing behind closed doors begin negotiations. After all, the morning was extremely restless – attack by Iran, U.S. bases in Iraq in response to the murder of the General, the collapse of the “Boeing” in Tehran, the tense situation in Libya, in Syria.

“We live in a complex world, and unfortunately, in a region where we are located, there is a serious tendency to aggravation of the situation. But Turkey and Russia show very different examples – example of interaction and cooperation for the benefit of our peoples and the whole of Europe, the whole world,” Putin said.

And that’s even before the start of the launching ceremony of the “Turkish stream” the Minister of defense Sergei Shoigu details reads a document detailing speaks with Lavrov and Ushakov, and soon flick of the wrist brings of the Minister of defence of Turkey. Lavrov leaves the room in the wing, where it continues the conversation Putin and Erdogan. Apparently, it was prepared and agreed a joint statement of the presidents of Russia and Turkey.

the opening Ceremony of the Turkish side tried to build the most spectacular. On stage established the “Turkish stream”.

the First line of the pipeline is already operating at its nameplate capacity of 15 billion cubic meters of gas.

“Deliveries via the “Turkish stream” to fully cover all of our contracts are with customers in Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia in the North, and all contracts, supply of which was carried out the TRANS-Balkan corridor”, — said the Chairman of the Board of PJSC “Gazprom” Alexey Miller.

On stage – a real metamorphosis. Here out of a suitcase aide to Erdogan takes, as it turns out, stand for mobile teleprompter. From the cover it takes a special glass. Checked – to no dust, no scratches. And then installed. It same thing with the second glass.

Teleprompters must stand during a speech on both sides of the issue. And it is important that at eye level, so that the assistants of the President stand behind the podium of the leader and check whether the normal height. Then, during a very emotional speech, when Erdogan was rapidly talking about billions of cubic meters of gas, he’s not peeping in the paper, but happened to glance at the teleprompters.

However, it was then. And just half an hour before the start of the ceremony on the stage actually turned some kind of frantic activity – the pipe is then lowered, then rose on the stage, several women in hijabs washed the floors, their superiors were walking here, talking on the phone and having to give commands, how best to wipe. And still it turned out that not all are willing. This becomes clear when the rostrum of the Russian President examining officer Protocol.

But all problems are inevitably solved. Even the balcony is full, people stand. The ceremony kicks off.

First, they are the energy Ministers of both countries, when comes the turn of the presidents, tribune Erdogan for a second changes its appearance. Thunderous applause and even whistling in the hall during the leaders is that Putin even appreciates.

Laid in the bottom of the Black sea, “Turkish stream” was built in record time. “Complicated, hard work. By the way, is a high-tech work, because the pipeline rests not only on such vast depths, but in a completely hostile environment,” Putin said.

Erdogan said the new project is important for the country and welcomes the colleagues-presidents. Prime Minister of Bulgaria at that moment very carefully wipes hand wipes. Soon he and the President of Serbia, as it becomes clear invited on stage. The speech, Putin and Erdogan completed, ahead of a symbolic launch of the gas pipeline.

the Hitch in a few seconds. Prompters are collected, the flowers are removed. And suddenly the floor on stagee opens and from under the stage leaves the missing part of the pipe with the valve. Hundreds of photographers doing historical snapshot. Prime Minister of Bulgaria is getting closer and closer to Putin, and now close. And when in honor of the launch of Turkish stream leaders begin to turn the valve, Boyko Borisov, first slightly to the side just applauds. Putin makes clear that he, too, can participate, and here the Bulgarian Prime Minister has already very active in this spin valve.

“Bulgaria is building its gas distribution network. And the more gas comes from Russia and Azerbaijan, the more we can in our pipeline to be transported through Bulgaria. For this we are ready. This we build,” said Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Built too slowly, as was recently publicly stated to Putin. And reminded, as the Bulgaria is asking to connect it to the “Turkish stream”. “We see that our Bulgarian partners are currently working much more intensively than some time ago”, — said Alexey Miller.

“We all built, but waiting for the Bulgarians, when they are done in their country,” — said the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic.

“Today, the work is in full swing, a scale and we are confident that the Bulgarian colleagues will fulfill its obligations and its part of the build,” — said Russian energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Bulgarian Prime Minister embraces Miller, shaking hands with him. And assistant Boyko Borisov is trying to depict him next to Putin.

to Knock the leader of the country on the back or on the arm at the time when he talks with the other leader, it seems, is not accepted. Boyko Borisov does not notice a very passionate conversation. Then his assistant even more urges to move.

Putin and Erdogan here never stop communicating with each other. The translator approaches it. After the launching ceremony of the “Turkish stream” the presidents of Russia and Turkey are back in peRecovery.

Continued discussion of the situation around Iran, in Libya, in Syria. Lavrov and Cavusoglu again with some documents in hand, the latest agreement. It’s been an hour after the launching ceremony of the “Turkish stream”, and in the corridor Putin and Erdogan continues to speak. And it’s clearly not about the pipeline.

the presidents runs the Turkish Minister. As it turned out, it was a prepared statement by the presidents of Russia and Turkey, including the situation around Iran.

Russia and Turkey also agreed to act as mediators and to call upon all the forces in Libya to cease from January 12, fighting. Given the nuances in relations between Russia and Turkey about the situation in Libya, such a statement is another important sign that even in the most challenging issues of the country find a common language. Putin said that Russia and Turkey in recent years show clear progress in the relationship.

“Significant, tangible results in almost all areas. Despite the difficult situation in the world and attempts to prevent the expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries, work is taking its course”, — said Putin.

the events in Istanbul, where was run the “Turkish stream”, of course, very closely watched Angela Merkel – for her very important “Nord stream-2”.

Meeting with Merkel

the Midst of negotiations of Putin and Merkel at the Kremlin. The Russian President is on the move talking with the head of “Gazprom”, and then with Putin, Merkel and Miller. And clearly, about what speech. The Russian President and the German Chancellor at that time already tired of waiting reporters.

Putin and Merkel seems to be already heading to the press conference, but the Chancellor is again a very important question to the Russian President. Putin gives to understand the personal operator now should not be removed.

the Door to the press conference room swing open, leaders have removed dozens of other cameras. But Merkel says PUTina something about what you do not want to could even lip-read.

At a press conference, the question sounds: will completed the “Nord stream-2” in terms of us sanctions? “We will certainly be able to finish on their own, without attracting foreign partners. The question is timing is the only question that arises in this regard. Of course, completion to be sidelined for several months. I hope that by the end of this year or the first quarter of next year work will be completed, and the pipeline will start”, — said Putin.

“Technological risks today are solved by our facilities, so the “Nord stream-2″ will be completed. This will require some more time, but the technological hurdles to do it on their own, we do not have”, — said Alexey Miller.

“We believe this is the right project, — said Angela Merkel — And I think that it can be implemented, despite us sanctions. We believe that the extraterritorial sanctions is the wrong way. Therefore, we will continue to support this project, as we did in the past.”

Merkel apparently feels the Kremlin is quite comfortable. German journalists even specify, say, whether they understood that Russia and Germany are ready to cooperate even that will not like US?

“I was just talking about the example where there are differences of opinion with the Americans. Despite all the difficulties, we found common interests and bilateral relations, and concerns about the agreement on Iran”, — said the Chancellor.

after, on the sidelines, again, negotiations and goodbye in Russian. At the exit of the Kremlin, the stairs are quite steep, the street is slippery, and Merkel support under the arm.

Left Merkel at the Kremlin in Moscow when the thaw began. In Russian-German relations it is clearly started too.