Next stop, Moscow: Merkel and Hollande to present peace plan for Ukraine in Russia

Next stop, Moscow: Merkel and Hollande to present peace plan for Ukraine in Russia
By Sarah Taylor with Reuters
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Moscow bound: After Kyiv, the French and German heads of state will head to Russia to present their peace plan for eastern Ukraine to President Vladimir Putin.

Next stop, Moscow, for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande.


They are expected to outline details of their newly-proposed peace plan for eastern Ukraine in the Russian capital on Friday (February 6).

The leaders presented their strategy to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv a day earlier, following a visit to the capital by US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

He will not be joining Hollande and Merkel on their trip to Moscow, but gave his full support to the Franco-German initiative.

“We want a diplomatic resolution, but we cannot close our eyes to tanks that are crossing the border from Russia and coming into Ukraine. We can’t close our eyes to Russian fighters in unmarked uniforms crossing the border and leading individual companies of so-called separatists in battle,” said Kerry.

Our correspondent, Dmytro Polonsky, reported from Kyiv:

“The fact that François Hollande and Angela Merkel’s urgent visit to Kyiv came on the same day John Kerry was in the city suggests the three nations share a common position on how to resolve the conflict in Donbass.”

Few details have been released about the new proposals for fear of setting back the already delicate diplomacy involved. However, France and Germany are believed to want a return to policies outlined in a September 2014 truce.

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