Merkel, Putin speak about Syria, Ukraine on sidelines of G20

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in person late Sunday for nearly two hours on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in China.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the main topics were the civil war in Syria, especially the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Aleppo, and the situation in eastern Ukraine.

Merkel and Putin spoke "very concretely" about how to continue measures agreed in Minsk last year, Seibert said without providing details.

A ceasefire agreement between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev government troops applying to the front line in eastern Ukraine was signed in Minsk in February 2015, but many points within the peace plan have not yet been implemented and the ceasefire remains fragile.

Merkel and Putin along with French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko negotiated the agreement in the Belarussian capital. But the conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-western Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists is still unresolved.

Putin has called on the United States to apply its influence on Kiev in order to make progress toward a solution. Whether another meeting of Merkel, Putin, Hollande and Poroschenko would take place anytime soon remained unknown on Sunday evening.

It was the first meeting between Merkel and Putin in several months. Relations have been strained since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Last update: Mon, 05/09/2016 - 00:36

More from World

Dozens of Yemeni soldiers killed and injured in car bombing

A car bomb exploded on Saturday in Yemen’s southern city of Aden, leaving dozens of soldiers dead and injured, a...

Residents claim new chlorine gas attack as more flee eastern Aleppo

Residents and activists in the remaining rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo Saturday reported a suspected chlorine...

Leading Egyptian militant's death sentence upheld for police killings

Egypt's highest court on Saturday confirmed a death sentence against a leading Islamist militant on charges of...

Indonesian police foil alleged plot to attack presidential palace

Police detonated a bomb found in a rented house near the Indonesian capital on Saturday after arresting three people...

One dead, 4 injured in suicide bomb attack ahead of Somali elections

A Somali soldier was killed and four other people injured in a suicide bomb attack at a security checkpoint near the...