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Kremlin Says Putin, Merkel Discuss G20 Summit By Telephone

According to the Kremlin Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone "at the initiative of the German side.” (file photo)

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone call on June 30.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the two leaders discussed the Paris climate accord and "several issues of bilateral cooperation."

The Kremlin press service said the phone conversation was "at the initiative of the German side.”

Merkel and Putin spoke a day after the White House confirmed that U.S. President Donald Trump and Putin would meet for the first time on the sidelines of the G20 summit, which is being held in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7 and 8.

It will bring together the heads of state and government from the world’s leading economic powers to discuss the fight against terrorism, climate change, free trade, and other issues.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on June 28 that it was especially important for Putin and Trump to discuss the war in Syria.

Lavrov also said there were no plans for talks on Ukraine’s conflict under the so-called Normandy Four format -- which would bring together the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS