Russian President Putin and German Chancellor Merkel lay a wreath to remember the victims of WWII, amid tensions between the two countries over Ukraine. Mana Rabiee reports.
Wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin Wall in Moscow, to remember the victims of World War II. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a time when relations between the two countries have soured, over a different war. Germany has strongly backed Western sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and its support for Ukrainian separatists. Putin says the Ukraine peace process is moving forward, despite the difficulties, as he sits down to discuss bilateral ties between Russia and Germany. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "There are well-known problems today and the faster these problems stop having their negative impact on the development of our relations the better it will be." It's a multi-billion dollar relation, grounded in trade and energy links. Merkel reaffirms her support for the Ukraine peace efforts and calls on Putin to use his influence on the rebels to end the conflict. History, she says, has already shown the lesson that diplomacy DOES work. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "We have learnt from our bitter experience that we need to work and cooperate in difficult situations, like in the difficult situation as there is now, and look for peaceful and diplomatic solutions." Merkel was in Moscow for events to mark 70 years since the end if World War II, but she stayed away from a military parade in Red Square the day before. An event largely boycotted by Western leaders.