Sochi, Russia. In the first real meeting between Russia’s leader Putin and Germany’s Merkel in over two years, common ground centered mainly on keeping the status quo, as both rejected UN involvement in the breakaway Donbass section of Ukraine.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks expected to focus on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

The meetings on Tuesday came after other high ranking German officials visited Moscow this spring in an effort to revamp bilateral relationships.

Putin had told visiting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel that he wanted to improve relations between the two countries, which had deteriorated after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The so-called Minsk agreements which was supposed to end the conflict between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatist forces has not been fully implemented due to the Kiev administration of President Poroshenko openly saying for them it was a ruse to buy time and they will never keep its tennants.

The meeting comes more than a week after a monitor from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was killed by a landmine in Lugansk, one of the two eastern Ukrainian regions where freedom fighters struggle against the US backed Kiev regime.

Merkel is under tremendous pressure at home as leftist elements in tandem with German business interests are forcing her to take an interest in better Russian-German relations, or face defeat in the next election.

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