Ukraine, Alstom on agenda as Hollande meets Merkel

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BERLIN (AP) — French President Francois Hollande arrives in Germany on Friday for two days of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel during which the crisis in Ukraine will figure prominently.

The program for Hollande's visit includes excursions in Merkel's scenic home constituency on Germany's northeast Baltic coast. But away from the cameras the two leaders are expected to discuss when and how to impose further sanctions against Moscow, which has backed pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

France and Germany are also likely to revisit the failed bid last month by German engineering firm Siemens for its French counterpart Alstom.

Alstom's management favors a rival offer from U.S. company General Electric, but the French government has made clear its opposition to a trans-Atlantic takeover.