Germany to Russia: Minsk deal must stay Ukraine peace process focus

Reuters

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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attends a news conference after a meeting on the Syria crisis at the Quai d'Orsay ministry in Paris, France, March 4, 2016. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attends a news conference after a meeting on the Syria crisis at the Quai d'Orsay ministry in Paris, France, March 4, 2016.

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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday that the Minsk deal must remain the focus of the Ukrainian peace process despite a spike in tensions in annexed Crimea, RIA news agency reported.
The two men met in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg after Russian President Vladimir Putin last week accused Ukraine of using terrorist tactics to try to provoke a new conflict and destabilise annexed Crimea. Ukraine flatly denied that.
Putin said at the time he saw no point in holding a new round of talks about the troubled peace process in eastern Ukraine on the sidelines of a G20 summit in China next month, stoking speculation Moscow might be preparing to abandon the troubled Minsk process.
But RIA on Monday cited Steinmeier as saying the Minsk deal must continue to be the mainstay of the process and Lavrov as telling university students in Yekaterinburg that Russia would fulfil its part of the accords.
Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of not honouring its obligations under the peace deal.
Ukraine says for its part that Moscow is the one stirring trouble in eastern Ukraine by backing pro-Russian separatists there. Moscow denies that.

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