Merkel tells Putin: implement Minsk to get EU sanctions lifted

Brunilde Fioravanti
Mag 3, 2017

Speaking in the Russian town of Sochi after discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Merkel said there was no need to replace the Minsk process, which is created to bring an end to the conflict between Moscow-backed rebels in Ukraine's east and the Kiev government.

Merkel plans to meet the leaders of all the G20 countries ahead of the summit, which is hosted this year by Germany and scheduled to take place over July 7-8.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on all sides in the conflict in Ukraine to work towards the ceasefire envisaged by the Minsk accords, saying implementation of those agreements could lead to the lifting of European Union sanctions against Russian Federation.

Merkel met with Putin at his summer residence in Sochi on the Black Sea coast as Berlin-Moscow relations remain stuck at a low over the Ukraine crisis and Syrian war. It was not clear whether Trump's phone call would dovetail with the Putin-Merkel talks in any way.

But that closeness didn't come immediately. Putin just previous year finally denied trying to scare her. She was photographed looking distinctly uncomfortable while Putin appeared to smirk. "It is planned to raise key global problems, including the fight against terrorism, the situation on the Middle East, the implementation of the Minsk agreements aimed a resolving the Ukrainian crisis", TASS cited the Kremlin press service as saying. Putin is the most powerful ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Erler acknowledged that a peace deal for Syria was no longer possible without Russian Federation, which he described as "the savior of Assad".

President Vladimir Putin has denied that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. It is working only with Turkey and Iran on the deal. The UN Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, has not made any progress.

The agenda for the talks between the two leaders will mostly be the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and the situation in Libya as well as bilateral relations between Russian Federation and Germany.

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