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Putin, Merkel discuss bilateral issues, Syria, Ukraine

January 30, 2014, 0:00 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, January 29, (ITAR-TASS). President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The two leaders discussed current issues on the bilateral and international agenda. They noted the importance of active joint efforts ahead of the 15th round of Russian-German interstate consultations at the highest level, which will be held in Germany in April of this year, as well as events within the framework of the Year of Russian Language and Literature in Germany and the Year of German Language and Literature in Russia (2014-2015), the presidential press service said.

During their exchange of views on the outcomes of the Russia-EU summit held in Brussels on January 28, Putin and Merkel stressed the significance of developing relations as a strategic partnership, resolving all problems in a business-oriented and constructive manner.

The leaders expressed support for efforts to find a political resolution to the crisis in Syria within the framework of the Geneva II process. In discussing the Iranian nuclear programme, they expressed hope for continued progress in the negotiation process. Concerning the situation in Ukraine, the leaders stressed that any external interference would be unacceptable.

Angela Merkel wished the Russian organisers success in holding the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Earlier in the day, Merkel had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. She welcomed the dialogue between him and the opposition and the cancellation of the controversial laws adopted on January 16, which had sparked mass protests.

Merkel called for a democratic solution to the current political crisis in Ukraine, pledging support from Germany and the European Union.

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