Merkel to land in Russia today, Syria up for discussion

Moscow [Russia], May 2 ANI: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to arrive in Russia on Tuesday to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Merkel's visit to Russia is coinciding with US President Donald Trump's recent phone call with President Vladimir Putin, reports Sputnik.

The agenda for the talks between the two leaders will mostly be the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and the situation in Libya as well as bilateral relations between Russia and Germany.

Ties between Moscow and the West deteriorated when the Crimean Peninsula voted in a referendum to separate from Ukraine and rejoin the Russian Federation. Tensions further strained after the chemical attack in Syria's Idilib province, which the Western countries blamed it on Assad regime

Merkel's first trip to Moscow since May 2015 indicates normalcy in ties through renewed dialogue amid strained Russia-European Union relations.

According to reports, Ukrainian civil war remains the key point of contention between Russia and Germany. As Berlin is keen to push the Minsk agreements and workout a roadmap to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, Germany has been insisting that sanctions against Russia will be lifted only after the Minsk peace process is implemented in letter and spirit.

Merkel is also likely to discuss the preparations for the G20 summit to be held in Hamburg in July.(ANI)