Friday, October 21, 2016

As New Ukraine Talks Begin, What Is the State of Europe’s Only Active War?

October 21, 2016 (The New York Times) With soldiers dying daily in Ukraine, the site of the only active war in Europe, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany hosted a meeting on Wednesday to see whether President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was willing to cut a deal to end the conflict while he also faces pressure from the West over Moscow’s role in Syria.
Mr. Putin and Ms. Merkel met with President François Hollande of France and President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine to talk about the fighting as the Ukraine crisis returns to the diplomatic agenda and the leaders try to restart a cease-fire.
Separately, Mr. Putin, who is often in the eye of the storm on international crises, met with Ms. Merkel and Mr. Hollande to discuss the civil war in Syria, where the Russian Air Force is backing the government.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany greeted President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as he arrived for a Ukraine summit meeting in front of the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin on Wednesday. Fhoto by Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/European Pressphoto Agency
At a news conference late Wednesday, Ms. Merkel said that, as predicted, “no miracles were achieved.But, she added, the value of meeting face to face was clear and that “it is urgently necessary” that high-level meetings continue as the foreign ministers of all four countries work on a new “road map” to resolve the conflict.

Residents left a damaged building in Horlivka, Ukraine, in August after the city was shelled. Photo by Alexander Ermochenko/European Pressphoto Agency
From her comments after the meetings and those by Mr. Hollande and Mr. Poroshenko, it seemed that the road map amounted a new timetable for putting into effect the agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus, in 2015 but never fully observed.
The full article is available at: