German foreign minister says Ukraine summit 'not sure yet'

9th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was not certain a four-way Ukraine peace summit in Minsk will go ahead, with much work still to be done.

"We hope that the open points can be settled but I have to say again, it is not yet sure," Steinmeier said of Wednesday's crunch summit of French, German, Russian and Ukraine leaders.

"We are working with the utmost energy... but there is still tough work ahead of us," Steinmeier said as he arrived for an EU foreign ministers meeting once again dominated by the Ukraine conflict.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was to brief US President Barack Obama Monday on the latest peace efforts, dubbed a "last chance" by French President Francois Hollande amid fears the conflict could get out of hand.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that a "number of points" still need to be hammered out before the meeting could take place.

Significant gains by increasingly well-armed Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine have stoked calls in Washington for Obama to supply arms to Kiev but Merkel is totally opposed to that option.

Officials were meeting separately in Berlin Monday to prepare for Wednesday's summit in the Belarus capital Minsk where the warring parties agreed a ceasefire in September to little effect.


© 2015 AFP

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