Europe

Putin: Germany's Merkel to visit Russia in May

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he expects German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Moscow in May.

"We are looking forward to her visit to Russia on May 2," Putin said Thursday at a meeting with Bavarian state governor Horst Seehofer.

The meeting would come amid tensions between Germany and Russia over Germany's support for sanctions on Russia. Merkel has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine's territorial integrity, which has irked Moscow.

However, during a visit last week by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Moscow, Putin said he would like to improve ties between the two countries.

Putin told Gabriel in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that it is "our common goal to fully normalize the relations and to make sure all the difficulties we face are overcome."