Moscow, Russia. In discrete low profile meetings it appears movements are being made to address the Donbass conflict and other priorities of the Russian Federation as Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to talk with the West’s two most powerful leaders today, with a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by a phone call with American President Trump later in the day.

Conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, as well as the tensions on the Korean Peninsula are all on the agenda when Merkel meets with Putin at his home in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The visit will also lay the foundation for the G20 summit in Hamburg in July.

During the phone call, White House officials said the two presidents will discuss the civil war in Syria, where Trump ordered a missile strike last month in retaliation for what the United States and its allies called a sarin gas attack carried out by Syrian government forces.

The phove chat will be the third publicly announced conversation between Trump and Putin, who first spoke after Trump’s inauguration in January and then after an April 3 bombing in the St. Petersburg subway that has claimed 16 lives.

The Merkel visit to Russia comes as internal pressure from German industry is mounting on the chancellor to lay the ground work for an improved economic relationship with Moscow, a relationship damaged by years by international sanctions tied to the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea and its support of freedom fighters in eastern Ukraine.

Frau Merkel has been the leader of European Union negotiations to end the Ukraine conflict, but the peace process has stalled, with the US backed Kiev regime breaking ceasefire agreements frequently.

In Ukraine, few support the stipulation in the so-called Minsk Agreements that would allow two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine broad autonomy, which Kiev admits it signed as a ruse to buy time to better prepare its armed forces, with no actual intent of really keeping the agreements.

Germans in particular are hurting from the sanctions upon Russia, started by the Obama administration upon the advice of neocon think-tanks in the USA. Wolfgang Büchele, chairman of Germany’s Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, told the Handelsblatt daily. “An ongoing confrontation would be costly for us in Europe. Both sides need each other to solve fundamental European and international political questions.”

Recent questioning of past sanctions oriented policy by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, where he openly asked “who cares about Ukraine?” at the G7 in Italy, provide hope that America is starting to see the light on a failed policy that is not altering the course of history and only costing both sides money and friendship in a dangerous world.

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