Ukraine, Syria On Agenda As Putin Prepares To Host Merkel

SOCHI, Russia -- Russian President Vladimir Putin will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow on 10 May 2015.

This would be Merkel’s first visit to Russia in two years.

The two leaders are expected to hold talks on a range of bilateral issues, as well as international hotspots like Syria, Ukraine, Libya.

Putin and Merkel will also discuss preparations for the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg in July. 

Amid renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine, calls are growing for international mediation that could revive a stalled 2015 peace plan brokered by Germany, Russia and France — known together with Ukraine as the Normandy group.

The Normandy Four group has so far failed to agree on the priorities of implementing the deal. 

Germany’s Foreign Ministry has said that “the keys of settling the conflict are in the hands of Moscow and Kiev.”

Germany insists that lifting EU sanctions against Russia can be possible only after the Minsk agreements are implemented in full.

Germany alongwith France play a leading role in sanction decision-making through their debriefings to other EU states.

The EU is currently holding a heated debate on whether to extend sanctions against Moscow, which will expire this summer.

The bloc imposed sanctions on Russia after Moscow, in 2014, held and won a referendum in Crimea, that was earlier part of Ukraine.

Earlier in 2015, Putin had said that ‘some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia’.

“For example, the Americans do not want Russia’s rapprochement with Europe. I am not asserting this, it is just a hypothesis. Let’s suppose that the United States would like to maintain its leadership in the Atlantic community. It needs an external threat, an external enemy to ensure this leadership,” he said adding that Ukraine became one such example.

Source: The BRICS Post