Merkel, Putin to Hold Talks

Merkel, Putin to Hold Talks

BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

Merkel's trip Friday to the Black Sea resort of Sochi is her first visit to Russia in a year and comes amid tense relations between Berlin and Moscow.

Germany has condemned Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its military support for the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But as she starts her fourth term, Merkel is reaching out to Putin in an effort to make some progress on these long-running crises.

A planned pipeline bringing gas from Russia to Germany, and Europe's response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal are also on the agenda.