The Russian leader was greeted at the Helmut Schmidt Airport ahead of the G20 summit of the world’s leading economies in Hamburg, Germany.
The highlight of Putin’s visit to Germany will be the eagerly awaited first ever meeting with President Trump Friday.
Details of the agenda are scant, but its understood that Putin and Trump plan to discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria and touch on other important security issues pertaining to North Korea and Ukraine.
Russian president has also been invited to a formal reception hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday evening.
Putin will also attend at least two G20 sessions, in addition to one “informal meeting” which will presumably discuss issues of global terrorism as well as Middle East tensions, TASS reported.
The Russian president is also expected to hold talks with the heads of state of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump have personally met for the first time on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday. During the short contact the leaders shook hands, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “They shook hands and said that soon they will hold a separate meeting, that they will see each other soon,” Peskov said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also have an opportunity to engage Putin on the ongoing North Korean crisis. Putin is expected to depart the G20 gathering at the end of the summit Saturday.
Prior to his arrival, Putin penned an article for German business newspaper, Handelsblatt, where he praised the work of the G20. He also urged the organization to do more to combat cybercrime. Putin also called on G20 leaders to modernize economic models, which, he said, were being retarded by protectionist policies coupled with the abusive practice of unilateral sanctions.
Merkel was born in Hamburg and she chose the city, a trading hub that helped launch the career of the Beatles, to send a message of openness.
The summit is being held only a few hundred meters from one of Germany’s most potent symbols of left-wing resistance, a former theater called the “Rote Flora” which was taken over by anti-capitalist squatters nearly three decades ago.
As leaders arrived on Thursday, riot police fired water cannon at a group of about a thousand black-clad protesters who hurled bottles in a demonstration organizers had dubbed “Welcome to Hell”.
Some 20,000 police from all of Germany’s 16 states have been deployed on the streets of Hamburg. They will be facing off against up to 100,000 protesters, including an estimated 8,000 who police say are prepared to use violence.
After sessions on terrorism, the global economy and climate on Friday, the leaders will be joined by their spouses for dinner at the Elbphilharmonie, a striking new glass concert hall perched atop an old warehouse building overlooking the Elbe River.