Putin, Merkel and Hollande agree on peace plan for Ukraine

February 8, 2015 6:56 am

, French President
and Russian President have hammered out a peace plan for
during late-night talks in the Kremlin.
The three leaders
agreed to work out a joint document to implement a five-month-old truce
that they will discuss with Ukrainian President during
a telephone conference today, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
He said that the talks were substantial and constructive.
No aides were present at the closed-door meeting, which lasted more than five hours.
Details of the plan were not released.
Russian
media reports suggested that the leaders agreed to respect a new
ceasefire line that concedes territorial gains to the pro-Russian
rebels.

Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande met without aides for five hours. Photo / AP

The original peace agreements signed in September in Minsk are in tatters after the rebels launched an offensive in January.

Merkel and Hollande began their surprise initiative on Thursday in Kiev, holding talks with Poroshenko.
Before the Moscow talks, both leaders cautioned that there was no guarantee of success.
“We
know it is completely open whether we’ll manage to achieve a truce …
or if further talks will be required,” Merkel said in Berlin.
She
and Hollande were not neutral mediators but acting in the interests of
“Germany, and, first and foremost, Europe”, Merkel said.
German
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned that arms shipments to
Kiev, as considered by the United States, would not be helpful to solve
the “hybrid war” that was waging in Ukraine – a combination of
intelligence and military operations, political destabilisation and a
propaganda campaign, all of which are present in Ukraine, she said.
“A
focus on arms alone can be a fire accelerant that only removes us
further from a solution,” von der Leyen told the Munich Security
Conference.
Merkel and Poroshenko were to address the conference
last night in Munich, with US Vice-President Joe Biden and Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Tomorrow, Merkel is due in Washington DC for talks with US President Barack Obama.
A White House spokesman said German opposition to arming Ukraine “matters a great deal” to Obama.
The
conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 5000 lives since last
year, including 200 in the last three weeks, according to the United
Nations.

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