World Bulletin / News Desk
The German chancellor will meet the French president and the Ukrainian president in Berlin on Monday for a trilateral meeting to discuss the de-escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine, it was announced Wednesday.
German government’s deputy spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said that the leaders would discuss recent developments in eastern Ukraine and the implementation of the February 12 Minsk cease-fire agreement.
“German government is concerned about the recent escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine,” Wirtz said at a press conference in Berlin.
“The trilateral meeting aims at ensuring that both sides continue to observe the Minsk cease-fire and continue implementation of the agreed package of measures. German government views this as the cornerstone for achieving permanent stability in Ukraine,” she said.
Asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would also join talks in Berlin after the trilateral meeting, Wirtz said: “I cannot rule out such a meeting, but I can also not confirm here that such a meeting would take place”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have carried out intense diplomacy to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine and convinced the conflict's parties to sign the cease-fire deal in February.
Merkel, Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Putin held their first talks on the Ukrainian crisis in “Normandy,” France in June 2014, on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Since then, parties held various four-party meetings at the level of leaders, foreign ministers and senior diplomats, called as “Normandy format” talks.
Despite the pledges made by parties in February to end fighting, cease-fire violations have increased in recent months, particularly in the areas of Donetsk, Horlivka and Mariupol in Donbas.
At least seven civilians and two Ukrainian troops were killed in the latest uptick of violence in eastern Ukraine on Monday.
More than 6,000 people have lost their lives and 1.4 million people were internally displaced in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and the pro-Russian separatists since April 2014, according to the United Nations.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ağustos 2015, 17:44