European Leaders Attempt ‘Last Chance’ for Peace in Ukraine
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande proposed a new peace plan during their visits to Ukraine and Russia on Thursday and Friday.
Hollande described the new proposal as “one of the last chances” to end the crisis in Ukraine, the BBC reports.
Merkel was not certain whether the plan would succeed, but it was “definitely worth trying”.
The new proposal foresees the establishment of a demilitarised zone of 50-70 kilometres around the current front line.
During their meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Merkel and Hollande agreed to work together on the development of the new peace plan.
The new proposal will be discussed over the telephone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday.
Although only a few details of the plan have emerged, it is largely considered to be an attempt to revive the Minsk ceasefire, which had been agreed in September 2014.
The diplomatic talks are continuing on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, where Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hope that the latest peace plan would “produce results”.
Meanwhile, Hollande hinted that the granting of greater autonomy to the eastern Ukrainian regions would be most probably needed.
Merkel reaffirmed German opposition to the possible supply of arms to Ukraine, a move which had been considered by the US.