Merkel and Putin news conference in Moscow

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Her visit — the first to Russia since May 2018 — comes as Iran admitted accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane shortly after its takeoff from Tehran, killing 176 passengers and crew.

Iran and Libya are expected to be the main points of discussion between the leaders, as Putin has strong influence in both countries.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned of an escalation of violence in Libyaearlier this week after a meeting of EU foreign ministers, especially in light of a recent airstrike on a military school.

Putin met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to call for a ceasefire in Libya where a crisis has been ongoing since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 led to the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.