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Merkel-Putin talks kick off in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he expects to discuss the most sensitive issues, namely Ukraine and Syria, at talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Tuesday.

"We cannot but use this visit to speak about bilateral relations and the most sensitive issues, namely Ukraine and Syria, and maybe some other regions," the Russian leader said opening the talks.

Putin gave a warm welcome to the German delegation in his Sochi residence. "Thank you that you were able to come here and inform us about preparations for the G20," he said.

Merkel agreed that there is the need to discuss the most topical issues, including the situation in Ukraine, Syria and Libya. Merkel told Putin that Russia is important partner in G20.

"Of course, we will discuss the situation in the G20, where Russia is an important partner," Merkel said.

Germany holds the rotating presidency of the G20 this year. The group's summit is due in Hamburg in July.

[Source: Itar Tass, Sochi, 02May17]

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