Merkel invites Putin for talks in Germany
German chancellor Angela Merkel invited Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to attend peace talks in Berlin in what will be the Russian president's first trip to the country since the last two years. The meeting will be held in the so-called "Normandy format" and will be mainly focused on reviving peace efforts in eastern Ukraine.
Ukranian president Petro Poroshenko and his French counterpart François Hollande will also attend the talks, the German chancellery announced in a statement, adding that this would be the first summit held in that format since October last year in Paris.
France's president unleashed sharp criticism of Russia's role in the Syrian bombings, after which Putin decided to cancel his trip to the French capital scheduled for last week.