Germany's Merkel arrives in Russia for talks with Putin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has arrived in Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin expected to focus on the unresolved conflict in Ukraine and the civil war in Syria.

Merkel traveled to the Black Sea city of Sochi on Tuesday for a one-day visit. It is her first trip to Russia in two years.

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

Tuesday's meeting comes amid tensions over Germany's support for the sanctions imposed on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine.

Putin, however, appears eager to improve ties. He told Germany's foreign minister during a recent visit that it is "our common goal to fully normalize relations and to make sure all the difficulties we face are overcome."