Putin meets EU leaders in Berlin to discuss Ukrainian war

Putin meets EU leaders in Berlin to discuss Ukrainian war
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech during a ceremony commemorating the victims of Babyn Yar (Babi Yar), one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Germany’s Angela Merkel, France's Francois Hollande, Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are expected to meet in Berlin Wednesday to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault: The meeting would aim to establish a timetable for elections in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine and to focus on further military disengagement.
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Oslo: Cautioned against setting "very high expectations" for the meeting.
  • Poroshenko: “Am I very optimistic? Yes. I am very optimistic about the future of Ukraine but unfortunately not so much about tomorrow's meeting, but I would be very happy to be surprised.”
  • The talks will take place just over a year after the four leaders last met in the so-called "Normandy Format”.
  •  German government source: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande would also discuss the Syrian conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • France’s FM Ayrault confirmed meeting, adding: “Pressure on Russia over Syria must continue.”
  • Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov: It made sense to "compare notes" about implementation of the Minsk accord, but it was not possible to talk about any concrete agreements.
  • "Indeed, the security situation along the demarcation line leaves a lot to be desired, provocations are ongoing. Of course, all this does not promote the process of achieving the implementation of the Minsk agreements."
  • Minsk agreement was negotiated by Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in February 2015 to end the fighting which broke out in eastern Ukraine.

(BERLIN, GERMANY) The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine will meet in Berlin on Wednesday to discuss the stalled Minsk peace plan to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but officials quickly dampened expectation of any breakthrough.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the meeting would aim to establish a timetable for elections in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine and to focus on further military disengagement.

But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, speaking in Oslo, cautioned against setting "very high expectations" for the meeting, even as the Kremlin blasted Ukraine for not respecting its obligations under the Minsk ceasefire deal.

Fighting between Western backed Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists has killed more than 9,600 since 2014, despite a ceasefire agreed in the Belarusian capital Minsk in February 2015, and shooting incidents and other violence still continue along a demarcation line.

"Am I very optimistic? Yes. I am very optimistic about the future of Ukraine but unfortunately not so much about tomorrow's meeting, but I would be very happy to be surprised," Poroshenko said.

The talks will take place just over a year after the four leaders last met in the so-called "Normandy Format," and against the backdrop of heightened tensions between Russia, Europe and the United States about Moscow's role in the Syrian conflict.

A German government source said German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande would also discuss the Syrian conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ayrault confirmed this, saying pressure on Russia over Syria must continue.

Merkel had said last week that it only made sense to coordinate a meeting of the four leaders if there was progress on security and political issues in the Ukraine crisis.

One European diplomatic source said expectations were not high, but it was important to keep dialogue open, especially given heightened tensions over Syria.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters it made sense to "compare notes" about implementation of the Minsk accord, but it was not possible to talk about any concrete agreements.

"Indeed, the security situation along the demarcation line leaves a lot to be desired, provocations are ongoing," Peskov said. "Of course, all this does not promote the process of achieving the implementation of the Minsk agreements."

Peskov chafed at a statement issued by the Ukrainian government in which it said the Berlin meeting was meant "to put pressure on Russia to fulfill (the) security package of Minsk agreements."

The Minsk agreement was negotiated by Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in February 2015 to end the fighting which broke out in eastern Ukraine after the fall of the sovereign Ukrainian government and the arrival in power of a Western-backed ruling body.

This article was contributed by Reuters

Please contact TRUNEWS correspondent Edward Szall with any news tips related to this story.
Email: Edward.Szall@trunews.com | Twitter: @EdwardSzall | Facebook: Ed Szall 
DOWNLOAD THE TRUNEWS MOBILE APP on Apple and Google Play
  • Get it on Google Play

Donate Today!

Support TRUNEWS to help build a global news network that provides a credible source for world news


We believe Christians need and deserve their own global news network to keep the worldwide Church informed, and to offer Christians a positive alternative to the anti-Christian bigotry of the mainstream news media

You May Also Like