Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations wil meet on Sunday in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, for the two-day G7 summit. However, the meeting is expected to be overshadowed by the ongoing crisis in Greece and Ukraine.
The focus for this years G7 meeting, hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be the global economy and free trade. However, geopolitical issues will also be a hot topic on the agenda. Other issues will include environmental protection, health and global security policies.
Nevertheless, two key issues are expected to play a prominent role at the meeting, the Greek debt saga and upsurging violence in Ukraine.
Merkel will also meet with U.S. President Barack Obama prior to the meeting on Sunday to discuss issues on Ukraine, Middle East turmoil and the TTIP free trade agreement-a negotiation talk between the US and EU.
A day before the meeting, Merkel and French President Francois Hollande held their fourth emergency phone call in ten days with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to ease ongoing tension between Greece and its international lenders.
Over the last few months, the cash strapped country and its foreign creditors have been struggling to come to terms on a cash-for-reform deal. Without the release of emergency funds, Greece may possibly head towards a “Grexit” as it faces the risk of defaulting on its loans.
Another crisis which looms over the summit is the ongoing violence in Ukraine. Diplomatic pressure is expected to weigh down Russian President Vladimir Putin as European monitors have slammed Russian-backed separatists for the bloodshed in Ukraine.
Russia was locked out of what was previously known as the G8, after Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Ahead of the summit, thousands of anti-G7 protesters rallied on Saturday nearby the Garmisch-Partenkirchen town in Germany.