Merkel talks with Putin about Ukraine summit

Germany and France have more recently interfered again in the Ukraine conflict, urging Moscow to a summit meeting. Does Kremlin boss Putin give diplomacy a chance?

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the announced Ukraine summit in the so-called Normandy format. In a telephone conversation on Thursday, both politicians had agreed to continue the preparations for such a meeting between Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine in order to advance the agreements of the Minsk peace agreement, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

French President Emmanuel Macron had announced the summit on Monday for September. According to Merkel, it should take place in Paris. In the east of Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government troops have been fighting since 2014. Germany and France have been trying for five years to mediate in the Normandy format between Ukraine and Russia. The last summit meeting in this format took place in Berlin in 2016.

Merkel and Putin also talk about Syria

According to Seibert, Merkel and Putin emphasized with regard to Ukraine the urgency to accelerate negotiations on future gas transit contracts. In addition, they had exchanged views on the situation in the civil war Syria.

They talked in particular about the military escalation in the north-west of the country and the entry into a political process led by the United Nations to overcome the conflict. The topic of the conversation was accordingly the situation in Libya.