What really matters about next week’s G20 is that Putin and Merkel will pressure Trump to approve Nord Steam 2, an agreement that goes against the stated goals of the EU to diversify its energy supply and move towards renewables and away from fossils.
Merkel needs Trump to approve because NS2 is detested by the rest of Europe. Europeans see her efforts to ram it down their throats as even more proof that Merkel sees herself as the ruler of the Union. A recent US Senate bill opposes NS2 because it would represent an enormous reward for Putin and his oligarchs and serve as an unwarranted and harsh punishment to Ukraine.
This is the real story and not the idiotic “Germany made a statement that they don’t want to be friends with us because we are so mean” that I keep seeing in the press. Merkel is trying, in her signature clumsy manner, to pressure the US massively to enrich Russian oil oligarchs. The question now is whether Trump will flout his own Senate and bend over for Putin and his close ally Merkel.