23:06 GMT16 February 2020
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    Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), stated that he urged US President Donald Trump to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin for inclusion of the US state secretary or the vice president in the Normandy format talks on Ukraine.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Direct talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump may open new prospects for settling the crisis in southeastern Ukraine, Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), said Monday.

    "Perhaps the talks between presidents Trump and Putin may open new prospects, it would be possible to talk about potential security guarantees for Ukraine that would be even more reliable than the ones from 1994, without the country acceding to NATO the day after tomorrow. There are no limits for creative politics," Ischinger, who previously served as a German ambassador to the United States, said, stressing that the conflict in eastern Ukraine was exacerbated by Kiev’s eagerness to join NATO.

    Ischinger urged Trump to ask Putin for inclusion of the US state secretary or the vice president in the Normandy format talks on Ukraine.

    The expansion of the so-called Normandy format that includes Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, has been proposed and discussed throughout 2016. The Russian president said last October that Moscow did not oppose the inclusion of countries, the United States among them, into the format.

    The eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk have been in turmoil since April 2014, when authorities in Kiev launched a military operation against Donbas militia. In February 2015, the conflicting sides agreed to a ceasefire after talks brokered by the Normandy format. Both sides, however, have consistently accused each other of violating the ceasefire terms.

    The Munich Security Conference is an annual major global forum founded in 1963 and devoted to the discussion of security issues, which brings together hundreds of decision-makers from all over the world, state leaders, ministers, NGO, industry, media and academia representatives. This year the event will take place on February 17-19.


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    Ukrainian crisis, Wolfgang Ischinger, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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