Ukraine's Poroshenko visits Berlin to discuss ceasefire and Nordstream 2

2018/4/11 0:22:00

A UN-led peace mission for eastern Ukraine remains Germany's aim, Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Kyiv's President Petro Poroshenko. The two leaders also discussed the underwater gas pipelines from Russia to Europe.


BERLIN, Apr 10, 2018 - A proper ceasefire in eastern Ukraine was still absent after four years of conflict, Merkel told a press conference in Berlin Tuesday.


"We're still pushing for exchanges of prisoners and the observance of a ceasefire," Merkel said, adding that she had had talks with the Russian president on Monday evening.


"We cannot let up in our efforts, because it involves people, soldiers, who lose their lives," said Merkel, referring to a truce plan mediated by France and Germany.


Chunks of eastern Ukraine, including the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), were seized by pro-Moscow separatists in 2014 in a conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.


Poroshenko, who said he was "proud" to be visiting Berlin so soon after the formation of Merkel's fourth coalition government, went on to accuse Russia of disguising its involvement alongside separatists.


Twenty-nine Russian soldiers and officers were in Ukrainian custody but Russia maintained a ploy of "not being present" Poroshenko said, alleging there was a similar pattern in Syria where Russia backs forces of President Bashar al-Assad.


Kyiv expected "more civilized" behavior from Russia in implementing the Minsk accords, first agreed in 2014, on disarmament and electoral reform, he added.




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