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    French President Francois Hollande, second left, speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    Germany Says Moscow Talks on Ukraine to Be Based on Minsk Protocol

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will travel to Moscow on Friday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on new initiatives to resolve the deadly Ukrainian standoff.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — All 12 points of the Minsk Protocol will be used as basis for talks between Russian and European leaders on the urgent settlement of the Ukrainian crisis on Friday, the German chancellor's office said in a statement posted Thursday on its website.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will travel to Moscow on Friday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on new initiatives to resolve the deadly Ukrainian standoff.

    Both European leaders are meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on Thursday to discuss the issue.

    The Minsk Protocol was signed after extensive talks between representatives of Kiev authorities, Russia, and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on September 5, 2014.

    The deal stipulated the creation of a 30-kilometer (19-mile) buffer zone along the line of contact, the withdrawal of heavy artillery from residential areas and an end to offensive operations, among other provisions.


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    Clashes between Ukrainian government troops and east Ukrainian militias worsened in recent weeks, with both sides to the conflict blaming the other for fatal shelling that killed dozens of civilians and wounded hundreds in flashpoint cities of Donetsk, Mariupol and Debaltsevo, which is a key rail junction.

    The meetings between Russian, Ukrainian, French and German leaders come ahead of a major European security conference in Munich, Germany that is expected to be dominated by the Ukrainian agenda.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated earlier that her primary objective was a lasting ceasefire between the Ukrainian army and local militias. Steps to end the bloodshed will be taken during Merkel's visit to Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti.

    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)


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