People place flowers at the monument of the so-called "Nebesna Sotnya" (Heavenly Hundred), the anti-government protesters killed during the Ukrainian pro-European Union (EU) mass protests in 2014, during a rally commemorating the third anniversary of protests, in central Kiev, Ukraine Feb. 20, 2017. Reuters

Leaders from Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine met Saturday to discuss how to solve a bloody rebel movement that has torn apart Eastern Ukraine in recent years. Missing from the action was a representative from the U.S. And Germany's foreign minister said that won't change anytime soon.

With world leaders warily eyeing President Donald Trump's newly sworn-in administration, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the U.S. wouldn't be included in future discussions on how to enforce a cease-force and remove heavy weapons in the region used by Russia-backed rebels and the government in eastern Ukraine. Gabriel said he had explained his decision to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Washington had agreed, the Associated Press reported.

"We think there must be close contact with the United States, but we think this format ... should be maintained," he said. "We are going to meet in a few weeks for preparations of the political process, which will be the hardest task. But the political process cannot be started without a ceasefire and pullout of heavy weapons."

The decision to exclude Trump's administration could signal an unwillingness to work with the current White House after former President Barack Obama had been invited to encourage a peace deal in Ukraine. Donald Tusk, president of the European council, called the November election, "a warning sign for all who believe in liberal democracy," while French President François Hollande said Trump’s win “opens up a period of uncertainty.”

Trump has angered some world leaders because of his constant praise of Russia and his threats to cut off funding for members of the NATO military alliance.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday the latest peace deal talks in Ukraine must result in an immediate halt in fighting. But Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said he was “not at all” happy with Saturday’s meeting because of a lack of “powerful results.”

At least 9,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Ukraine.