Progress cited on Ukraine
BERLIN — The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France agreed Wednesday on a ‘road map’ aimed at reviving the stalled peace process in eastern Ukraine, though details of the plan still need to be worked out by the countries’ foreign ministers over the coming month.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had invited Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Francois Hollande of France to Berlin for the first four-way talks in over a year, insisting that while major progress was unlikely it was important for top-tier negotiations to continue.
“I’m convinced it was right to reopen the channel of talks at this level again,” Merkel said after the meeting. She conceded that the four “didn’t achieve miracles” but maintained the talks were necessary “in order not to lose momentum.”
Also discussed was the creation of so-called disengagement areas to separate the warring parties, as well as measures to improve the humanitarian situation i n eastern Ukraine, Merkel said.
Ukraine’s president said an agreement had been reached that the road map should be adopted by the end of November. Poroshenko was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying it would include all security issues, including restoration of Ukraine’s control of its entire border with Russia.
The road map is part of an effort to implement the so-called Minsk Agreement of February 2015 on ending the conflict, in which more than 9,600 people have been killed.
Poroshenko was also quoted as saying that an agreement was reached on the deployment of an armed police mission in the areas held by proRussian separatists.
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