Putin, Merkel Leave Obama on Outside

By Klaus Larres & Peter Eltsov, Politico - July 18, 2014

During the Cold War, it was a rare occurrence when the leader of the Soviet Union met with the U.S. president or the West German chancellor. These days hardly a week goes by, it seems, without Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel bumping into each other. The last meeting between the Russian president and German chancellor occurred in Brazil on Sunday at the World Cup final—an event that becomes more and more reminiscent of ancient rituals, such as the Mesoamerican ball game, when sports went hand in hand with high-level politics.

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