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Siemens CEO Rebuked as German Business Defends Putin Partnership

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy chided Siemens AG Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser for traveling to Moscow, saying German companies shouldn’t sell out European values to protect business with Russia.

The conflict over Kaeser’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin last week underscores the rival forces tugging at Merkel during the crisis in Ukraine. While the European Union and the U.S. seek to punish Russia for annexing Crimea, many German corporate leaders view Putin as an economic partner.