Reuters International

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

(reuters_tickers)

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to speak with U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday and the conversation is expected to focus on Russia, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The source did not say whether Trump might want to speak with Merkel about a lifting of the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its intervention in Ukraine, as overnight reports from the United States suggested.

But the source made clear that if such a step were taken, then the European Union would not necessarily follow Washington, as its sanctions remain tied to implementation of the Minsk peace deal.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Michael Nienaber)

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