February 6th, 2015


Merkel and Hollande push Ukraine peace plan

The leaders of Germany and France, carrying a peace plan that reportedly incorporates proposals from Russia, have met Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko in an effort to bring an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Thursday’s trip to Kiev by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will be followed by a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow “based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

The meeting with Poroshenko ended late on Thursday and Hollande and Merkel left the presidential offices without comment. Details of their plan remained unclear, although Poroshenko said that it raised hopes for calling a quick ceasefire.

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Ukraine crisis: Hollande and Merkel set for Putin talks (Pictures and English Map)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are meeting Russia’s Vladimir Putin to try to end escalating fighting in Ukraine.

Mr Hollande and Mrs Merkel are taking to Moscow a peace proposal crafted in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Thursday, but details have not been released.

Meanwhile a truce has allowed civilians to leave Debaltseve, at the heart of the latest fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is accused of arming pro-Russian separatists – a claim it denies.

The Kremlin also rejects claims by Ukraine and the West that its regular troops are fighting alongside the rebels in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Clashes have left nearly 5,400 people dead since April, the UN says.

A September ceasefire, signed in Minsk in Belarus, has failed to stop the violence. Since then the rebels have seized more ground, raising alarm in Kiev and among Ukraine’s backers.

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