German Chancellor Angela Merkel is en route to the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The leaders are set to meet at Putin’s residence to discuss preparations for July’s Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, as well as the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and Syria.
According to Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, the two leaders would to discuss preparations for the July Group of 20 summit in Hamburg.
The visit to Russia, he said, is the German leader’s second since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“Of course there are two subjects that are burdening the relationship,’’ Seibert said in reference to the annexation of Crimea and Russian involvement in the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The meeting came just over a week after a monitor from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe was killed by a landmine in Luhansk.
Luhansk is one of the two eastern Ukrainian regions where Russian-backed militants are fighting for secession.
Merkel however planned to meet the leaders of all the G20 countries ahead of the summit, which is scheduled to take place July 7 and July 8.