Trump schedules another phone call with Russia's Putin

This is the first call between the two leaders since Russian Federation denounced a USA military strike against Syria last month in response to the use of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens.

After spending months touting the prospect of warmer ties with Putin, Trump declared after the strikes that the relationship between the USA and Russian Federation "may be at an all-time low". North Korea's main political lifeline to the outside world is China, though it maintains economic ties with Russian Federation, which it listed as its friendliest ally earlier this year.

Perhaps that is why Chancellor Merkel's spokesman said they would be focusing "above all" on the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg in July - an innocuous rational that have given the two sides a place to start.

There was no dog this time, and instead Mr Putin praised how he was able to negotiate with Dr Merkel "in a professional atmosphere... the prosperity and peace of our peoples".

Trump and Putin have a host of other issues to address as well.

"The law enforcement agencies in Russian Federation are acting in a much more mitigated way than many of our partners in Western Europe", he said, adding that victims of such attacks had access to the justice system.

Putin and Merkel are expected to discuss the Minsk agreements, a deal brokered by Merkel and French President Francois Hollande with the aim of resolving the Ukraine crisis.

Putin and Merkel last met in Germany in October for talks aimed at reviving the peace process in eastern Ukraine.

But the bloody civil war in Syria and Putin's continued backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad loom large. But Russia's ongoing support for Assad has been a persistent roadblock.

The two leaders did their best to end the news conference on a positive note with Ms Merkel saying that each discussion "brought something new".

And if Putin was simmering before, he may well have boiled over while having to hang around for his counterpart.

"I think Russian leaders are aware of what this means for German-Russian relations, in the case that they really have made such attempts or support them", he said.

The German chancellor, during a rare trip to the Eastern European nation, revealed that she discussed the reported torturing and killing of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya with Vladmir Putin.

  • Salvatore Jensen