HOLLANDE AND MERKEL EN ROUTE TO MOSCOW APPEALING FOR END TO WAR IN EASTERN UKRAINE

Feb 06, 2015

By Jane Brown

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Diplomatic efforts by the President of France continue to try to bring to an end the war in eastern Ukraine.  Speaking in Berlin today, Francois Hollande said all parties pushing for a new pleace plan see a ceasefire as the first step but must go further to find a lasting accord.  Hollande is heading to Moscow today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss a new European peace plan with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The German and French leaders yesterday discussed the same plan with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who also met with the U.S. Secretary of State.  John Kerry says the U.S. won’t rule out sending weaponry to Ukrainian troops, but would prefer a diplomatic solution initiated by Putin.

In another development today, pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine say they’ve reached an agreement with government forces to set up a humanitarian corridor.  The move would allow embattled civilians to leave a key railway hub at the centre of recent fighting.

More than 5350 civilians have been killed in the war since April.

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