Leaders to meet in Berlin for Ukraine peace talks

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will host a meeting in Berlin with the Russian, Ukrainian and French presidents on Wednesday to discuss efforts towards peace in eastern Ukraine in their first summit in a year, her office has said.


Merkel has invited the Russian president Vladimir Putin, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko and the French president François Hollande, to “assess the implementation of the Minsk [peace] agreements since the last meeting and discuss further steps”, Merkel spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said.


The agreement brokered by France and Germany in Minsk in February 2015 has helped end large-scale battles between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, but clashes have continued and efforts to reach a political settlement have stalled.


The four leaders have held sporadic meetings to discuss the accord’s implementation, the last of them in Paris in October last year.


The decision to hold the Wednesday evening meeting in Berlin follows a flurry of telephone diplomacy over the past week, but host Germany has downplayed chances of a breakthrough.


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