German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that it would be necessary to listen to Russia’s perspective about the situation in the Donbas region. She said so after talking to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin.
Poroshenko had a meeting with Merkel and French President Francois Hollande about “many issues.” She said that it was important to talk to Russia to know its opinion on those issues. The German leader said that the possibility of a “four-party meeting” involving both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart should not be ruled out.
According to Merkel, there were differences of opinion about Ukraine between Russia and the West that need to be settled. Merkel emphasized that the Minsk agreement signed in February was “fundamental to peace in Ukraine.” She added that the ceasefire agreements should not be questioned.
Hollande said that it was critical to have fresh meetings to solve the political unrest in eastern Ukraine. The French president called for talks in Normandie format, involving foreign ministry officials and leaders from France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. He also added that the Berlin meeting was a preparation for future meetings.
Hollande stressed on strictly observing the Minsk agreements as well, and said that local elections in the Donbass region "must be carried out following “Ukrainian law."
Poroshenko echoed Merkel and Hollande’s take on the ceasefire agreements.
"I will repeat once again - there is no alternative to the Minsk process,” TASS quoted the Ukrainian president a saying. “The Minsk process is an absolutely universal tool, it’s ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy equipment and artillery, ensuring full release of prisoners, access of OSCE to monitoring these processes."