Merkel Seeks Push for Ukraine Cease-Fire Talks With Macron

  • German chancellor, Ukraine’s Poroshenko hold talks near Berlin
  • Macron backs peace process for eastern Ukraine, Merkel says

Damage to a home from a shelling attack in the town of Dokuchayevsk, in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine, on May 13, 2017.

Photographer: Valentin Sprinchak/TASS via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and French President Emmanuel Macron will seek to revive talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.

Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting near Berlin, Merkel said Macron had backed the so-called Minsk peace process on Monday during the first visit to the German capital after his inauguration.

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

“We will very quickly look for opportunities for the four heads of state and government -- the three presidents and I -- to establish contact,” Merkel told reporters on Saturday, according to a German government statement.

Merkel, Putin, Poroshenko and Francois Hollande, Macron’s predecessor as French president, signed an accord in February 2015 in Minsk, Belarus, that sets out steps toward a cease-fire and political settlement between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine. Still, fighting continues to flare in a war that’s killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than a million.

“Unfortunately, after a certain lull over the Easter period, we are seeing cease-fire violations on the rise again,” Merkel said Saturday at Schloss Meseberg, an 18th-century palace north of Berlin that’s used as a government conference center.

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