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Putin’s talks with European leaders at G20 summit to focus on Syria and Ukraine

November 13, 2015, 15:53 UTC+3
The Group of Twenty summit is due to be held in Turkey’s Antalya on November 15-16
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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, November 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to have a number of bilateral meetings with European leaders on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty summit due to be held in Turkey’s Antalya on November 15-16.

Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists on Friday the Russian president planned to have talks with the German, British and Italian leaders to discuss both bilateral and international problems, including the situation in Ukraine and Syria.

Thus, the Russian leader is to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on November 15. Ushakov said the two leaders would discuss the recent developments in Syria and Ukraine, as well as some aspects of bilateral relations. The Kremlin official reminded that during the previous talks the two leaders had mainly discussed the situation in Ukraine. "Now, we hope for discussing some issues of bilateral interaction, as well as most pressing international problems - not only Ukraine, but also Syria," Ushakov said. "Russian stands for political and diplomatic settlement of the Ukrainian conflict and calls on the Ukrainian side to fulfil its liabilities under the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015."

"The meeting is also expected to focus on current issues of Russian-German cooperation. One of the key topics will be measures to expand trade and economic ties," Ushakov said, adding that bilateral trade had dropped by 6.5% in 2014 to $70.1 billion, and had further decreased in January-August 2015 by 34.5% [to $30.6 billion].

Putin’s plans for the second day of the summit, November 16, include meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"Evidently, the talks of Putin and Cameron will focus on the further promotion of a political dialogue and on prospects for the two countries' trade and economic collaboration," Ushakov said. "On the international agenda, we expect an exchange of opinions on Syria's settlement and the Ukraine crisis."

He said both sides saw their top priority task in the Syrian settlement "to stop violence aand exterminate Islamic State groups in the territory of that state."

"As concerns the Ukrainian settlement, Moscow and London have common understanding that sustainable settlement of the Ukrainian crisis could only be reached through a political dialogue with an aim of finding a compromise. In this sense, strict implementation of the Minsk agreement by all parties is of principal importance," Ushakov said.

The Kremlin official also said international and bilateral problems would be in focus of Putin’s meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. He said the dialogue between Russia and Italy was constructive. "Putin and Renzi will discuss bilateral issue and pressing international problems," he said.

"The sides are expected to discuss the current situation in trade and economic relations and measures to enliven them, including within the Russian-Italian Council on Economic, Industrial and Currency-and-Financial Cooperation," Ushakov said. "Special attention will be paid to prospects of investment cooperation, including possible localization of Italian production in Russia," he said. "It is expected that the talks would touch upon pressing international issues, including the situation in Ukraine and in the Middle East."

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