Merkel to visit Ukraine on Saturday, Berlin confirms

19th August 2014, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Ukraine on Saturday, the eve of national Independence Day, for talks with the country's president and prime minister, Berlin confirmed Tuesday.

Merkel has played a key role in seeking to defuse the Ukraine crisis and has been in regular phone contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom the West sees as supporting the rebel separatists.

The German leader will have "comprehensive" talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, meet Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and probably also several city mayors, said a German government statement.

Last Sunday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier invited his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France to Berlin for talks which, however, ended without agreement on how to end the crisis.

Months of fighting between Ukraine government forces and pro-Moscow separatist rebels in the east of the former Soviet state have killed more than 2,100 people and left the region facing a humanitarian catastrophe.

© 2014 AFP

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