German Chancellor Angela Merkel has begun talks with President Vladimir Putin on her first visit to Russia since 2015. The meeting, at Mr Putin’s summer residence in Sochi, comes with bilateral relations in a trough over the war in Syria and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. They are to discuss both issues but no breakthroughs are expected. He will then meet Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday. “Of course, we cannot but take advantage of this visit and discuss bilateral relations and the most problematic points, by which I mean Ukraine, Syria and possibly some other regions”, Putin said at the start of the talks with Mrs Merkel, quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency.