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Putin, Merkel to discuss Ukraine, restoration of Russia-Germany cooperation

May 10, 2015, 3:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Ukrainian issue has been predominant over the past year in talks between Putin and Merkel

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MOSCOW, May 10. /TASS/. Ukraine’s settlement and possibilities for the restoration of cooperation between Russia and Germany will be high on the agenda of talks in the Kremlin on Sunday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is arriving in Moscow to attend celebrations in honour of the 70th anniversary of the World War II Victory. Before the talks, the two leaders together will lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall.

"The talks will focus on Ukrainian internal conflict settlement issues," Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said. "Russia and Germany call for the strict observance of the Minsk agreements by Kiev and Ukraine’s south-eastern regions," he said.

The Ukrainian issue has been predominant over the past year in talks between Putin and Merkel. Their political dialogue is very intensive: last year, the Russian president and the German chancellor met four times and had 34 telephone conversations, and since the beginning of this year, they held two meetings and 16 telephone conversations.

According to Ushakov, the sides will also discuss bilateral cooperation. "The meeting is expected to promote intensification of Russian-German interstate cooperation in various spheres," said the presidential aide.

"The sides will discuss, in particular, measures to boost trade and economic relations," he said. In 2014, for the first time in recent years, a 6.5% decline in the Russian-German trade turnover volume was recorded, to $70.1 billion, compared to the previous year.

At the same time, the Russian economy has accumulated more than $21 billion of German investment. There are more than 6,000 companies with German participation operating in Russia, including about 800 - with 100% German capital. The volume of Russian investment in Germany is about $850 million.

The Kremlin also says the two countries have the traditionally intense cultural and humanitarian contacts and inter-regional cooperation.

Moscow is pinning high hopes on these negotiations. Thus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who earlier this week held a meeting with his German colleague Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that "the situation in Europe is far from quiet now and this scenario not at all encouraging." "In the light of it, we attach special significance to a buildup of dialogue between Moscow and Berlin," Lavrov said. "We feel very hopeful for the talks that will be held during Merkel's visit to Moscow on May 10," he said.

The meeting with Merkel will complete the four-day "marathon" of international meetings that Putin has held on the sidelines of the Victory Day celebrations. Since May 7, he has held talks with the leaders of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), as well as with the leaders of Cuba, Mongolia, China, India, Vietnam, the Czech Republic, South Africa, as well as with the UN Secretary-General. 0ezh

View ITAR-TASS archive photos: http://go.tassphoto.

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