The two leaders are far from being allies, however.
From her end, Merkel will push for a Russian commitment to keep at least some gas transiting Ukraine, which earns transit fees from it. Putin has said he's open for shipments to continue if Ukraine settles a gas dispute with Russia.
She welcomed the start of discussions among the European Union, Ukraine, and Russian Federation on the issue.
Putin's meeting with Merkel late Saturday takes place at the German government's guesthouse in Meseberg, north of Berlin.
"I want to stress here that Nord Stream 2 is only an economic project and it does not close the door to the continuation of gas transit through the territory of Ukraine", he said. "Nord Stream 2 is exclusively an economic project".
They're also pushing ahead with the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany over U.S. objections.
A Russian military police officer in the citadel of Aleppo seen during a guided tour by the Russian forces in Syria. AFP
The Kremlin views divisions between the USA and Europe over trade and the Iranian nuclear deal as a chance for Russian Federation to mend relations with Germany by presenting itself as a more reliable partner in negotiations. Putin is expected to return to Moscow Saturday evening.
Merkel said the priority in Syria was "to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe", particularly in the Idlib region, which is held by rebel groups and militants. Trump has pulled the USA out of the program and imposed new sanctions, saying that they will also hit foreign countries that keep doing business with Iran.
Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl dances with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at her wedding in Gamlitz, Austria, August 18, 2018.
Opposition politicians in Austria have criticised Kneissel for inviting Putin, accusing her of undermining European Union foreign policy.
The two leaders last met in Sochi in May and struggled to overcome differences.
Russian Federation is accused by Kiev and Westerners of militarily supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine, which it denies. "She doesn't want to give up the chance of keeping Putin within a margin that is manageable for Germany". Merkel said a four-way meeting on Syria involving Germany, Russia, Turkey, and France is possible.
The two leaders both viewed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as a purely commercial venture, despite persistent fire by the US and Ukrainian governments, Peskov said. The two will speak about the pipeline project, as well as global topics such as Ukraine and Syria. "For that he has to move", he said. The invitation, he said, undermined the West in its dispute with Putin.