Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Moscow on Saturday (January 11) (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Thank you very much for your invitation.
I'm pleased to have come here because there is much to discuss, bilateral issues as well as international which are of common interest like Libya, Syria, or the Minsk process.
I'm looking forward to the talks with great interest and I would like to thank you once more for the opportunity to come here, because I have always said that it is always better to speak in person than to speak about a person." According to the Kremlin press service, they will also discuss the crisis triggered by the killing of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. air strike.
The attack has taken long-simmering U.S.-Iranian hostilities into uncharted waters and stoked concerns about a major escalation.