German Foreign Minister Reports Progress in Ukraine Crisis Talks
Four-way talks on alleviating the crisis in eastern Ukraine had been difficult, but some progress was made, the German foreign minister has said.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France met in Berlin on Sunday to try to find ways to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine, improve border controls along the Russian-Ukrainian border and bring about a ceasefire in the region to prevent future victims.
He told reporters the four foreign ministers had had a “difficult discussion” but he believed and hoped that progress had been made “on some points."
He did not elaborate but added he and his counterparts would report back to their heads of government and state in their capitals and possibly agree on Monday or Tuesday how to continue talks.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was more pessimistic, He told a news conference in Berlin: "We are not able to report on positive results on reaching a ceasefire and on the political process."
Lavrov, however, said that all issues related to Russia sending a convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Ukraine had been resolved
Ukraine said government forces had raised the national flag on Sunday over a police station in the city of Luhansk, which had for months been held by the pro-Russian rebels.
Ukraine also acknowledged that rebels had shot down a Ukrainian MiG 29 fighter jet near the city. The pilot reportedly ejected to safety.