The deadline for the two sides meeting all the conditions of the peace agreement between the Ukrainian government and Kremlin-backed separatists in the country’s easternmost regions may be extended, a Russian official said.
The leaders of Russia, Germany, Ukraine and France may agree on an extension if the terms aren’t met by the end of the year, Yuri Ushakov, a foreign-policy aide to President Vladimir Putin, told reporters in Moscow on Friday. The four nations’ foreign ministers will meet in Berlin Saturday and their leaders plan to convene next month.
Efforts to follow through on the Minsk commitments are intensifying as the year-end deadline looms and after deaths from the conflict approached 8,000. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that he’s “encouraged by the fact that we have seen a renewed effort to respect” the peace accord. The war has devastated Ukraine’s economy, turned the hryvnia into one of the world’s worst-performing currencies and prompted the government to restructure $18 billion of foreign debt.