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German Chancellor Merkel uncertain whether Ukraine talks will succeed

German Chancellor Merkel uncertain whether Ukraine talks will succeed
Merkel, speaking after two days of hastily arranged meetings in Kiev and Moscow, also bluntly underlined her opposition to the idea of supplying lethal weapons to the Ukrainian government.

Merkel offered no details of the proposals that have been thrashed out over recent days, which she plans to discuss in a phone call tomorrow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and French President Francois Hollande.

The urgent diplomacy comes as Western anxiety over the conflict grows and sanctions bite ever harder on Russia’s economy.

More than 5,300 people have been killed since fighting began in April, according to a UN tally, and
the bloodshed has markedly increased over the past two weeks.

The resurgent fighting has prompted the US to consider giving lethal weapons to Ukraine, an option opposed by European nations. Negotiators’ aim is to draw up a possible joint document on implementing the much-violated September peace deal concluded in Minsk, Belarus.

“This conflict cannot be resolved by military means,” Merkel said at the Munich Security Conference. “It is all the more important now to set out substantial steps that serve to fill with life the Minsk agreement.”

Merkel said of the talks that “it is uncertain whether they will be successful, but it is from my point of view and that of the French president in any case worth making this attempt.”

The German leader acknowledged that experience to date of agreements being violated on the ground has been “disillusioning.”



Agencies

Agencies

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