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Merkel Sees 'Beam of Hope' After Ukraine Reconciliation Talks in Minsk

© AP Photo / Mykola Lazarenko/PoolNormandy Format Meeting
Normandy Format Meeting - Sputnik International
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The Minsk summit on Ukraine reconciliation gives a hope to finally stop the bloody conflict, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L, front), Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (2nd R, front), Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (R, front) and France's President Francois Hollande (2nd L, front) walk during peace talks in Minsk - Sputnik International
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BERLIN (Sputnik) – A “beam of hope” has appeared in the process of solving the Ukrainian crisis after reconciliation talks in Minsk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.

“We have a ‘beam of hope’ that we’ve agreed on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. But of course, we need to take concrete steps and there are obstacles ahead of us,” Merkel said in a statement after the talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

A Ukrainian military convoy is pictured through a barbed wire fence at a military base in the town of Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine - Sputnik International
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The participants of the Normandy format meeting — Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – were in talks for more than 15 hours in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The military confrontation between Kiev forces and Donbas independence supporters claimed lives of over 5,400 since April, the UN said.

The four leaders agreed on a declaration containing practical measures aimed at implementation of the Minsk agreements. In particular, the document calls for a ceasefire starting from February 15 and “all-for-all” prisoner swap among other points.

 

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