BERLIN, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Sunday that there is no other solution to the Ukrainian crisis aside from a political one.
"I firmly believe that only a political solution is possible for which the European Union but also Germany want to help and also should help. There won't be a military solution to the conflict. That's why political talks are absolutely necessary," Merkel said in an interview with ARD German television.
Upcoming talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk are unlikely to deliver a breakthrough that would resolve the crisis in Ukraine, but the meeting is important, Merkel said a day after her official visit to Kiev.
"There are always two sides to any conflict so it’s good that Russian President [Vladimir] Putin is meeting Ukrainian President [Petro] Poroshenko on Tuesday. My visit to Kiev was preparation for such a meeting, which certainly will not result in the breakthrough, but you have to talk to each other if you want to find solutions," Merkel concluded.
Putin is scheduled to see Poroshenko in the Belarussian capital Minsk on August 26. The meeting will also include top leaders of the European Union and the Customs Union. According to Poroshenko’s press service, the meeting will address a number of urgent political and economic issues, including the stabilization of the situation in eastern regions of Ukraine.
Since mid-April, Kiev authorities have been conducting a military operation in the east of Ukraine to crack down on independence supporters that refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the new government. Over 2,000 people have been killed and more than 5,000 injured since the start of Kiev’s offensive, according to the United Nations.