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Putin to meet with Merkel, Macron, Juncker, Erdogan on sidelines of G20 summit

President Vladimir Putin continues a chain of bilateral meetings on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit conference

HAMBURGB, July 8. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin continues a chain of bilateral meetings on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit conference.

The menu of his meetings on Saturday is mostly ‘European, as he will join French President Francois Macron and Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, the host of the summit, at a working breakfast, will hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan somewhat later and will have a conversation with the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Contacts with other leaders ‘on the move’, which he has had at other major international forums in the past are not ruled out either.

Discussions at the breakfast for three will center, first and foremost, on peace settlement in Ukraine, Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

Putin, Merkel and Macron, all of them parties to the Normandy Four format, will have a meeting in the absence of the fourth member of the Normandy quarter, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, since his country is not a member of the informal Group of Twenty and the organizers did not issue a special invitation to this summit to him.

Peace settlement in Ukraine was raised Friday ‘in the brims’ of the summit at a meeting between Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said later the American side had notified Moscow of the appoint of a special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who might visit Russia shortly.

Russia and the U.S. had agreed to set up a communications channel that would enable their representatives to press forward with peace settlement in war-torn eastern Ukraine "with reliance on the potential on the basis of the Minsk accords that is vested in the Contact Group (for settlement in eastern Ukraine) and in the Normandy Format.

Putin and Macron will use their meeting to continue the dialogue they launched at their first summit in Versailles at the end of May. The Kremlin said they would look at the prospects for a buildup of bilateral trade, all the more so that its volume grew in the first quarter of this year.

Simultaneously, the two countries continue implementation of a range of large joint projects. Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that will pump Russian natural gas to customers in Western countries across the floor of the Baltic Sea in bypass of several traditional transit nations is one of them.

Although Ukraine will be the main subject of their trilateral breakfast with Angela Merkel in the morning, they will continue an exchange of opinions on the situation in Ukraine in the bilateral format as well.

The previous meeting between Putin and EC President Jean-Clauder Juncker took place more than a year ago, in June 2016 at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. "They are expected to pay special attention to normalizing trade and investment and to averting regional crises," Yuri Ushakov said.

More specifically, Putin and Juncker will look at the Nord Stream 2 project, at the supplies of Russian gas to Europe via the Turkish Stream pipeline, and a possible economic rapprochement between the Eurasian Economic Union and the EU.