Germany urges Russia to stay with diplomatic talks on Ukraine

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Berlin, Sep 4 (IANS) Germany has urged Russia to keep engaging in diplomatic talks to resolve the Ukrainian crisis following the assassination of a pro-Russian rebel leader in eastern Ukraine.

“We urge all parties to continue with their constructive participation in negotiations,” Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told reporters in Berlin on Monday.

“It is really important that an escalation is prevented now,” Xinhua quoted Seibert as saying.

This comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday that the murder of Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of Ukraine’s independence-seeking Donetsk region, made it impossible for the four-way talks to continue.

The Ukraine talks involve Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany — known as the Normandy format.

Zakharchenko was killed in an explosion at a cafe in Donetsk, part of Ukraine’s Donbas region.

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Merkel is scheduled to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Marseille on Friday. She is expected to raise the issue which could become a formidable threat to an already fragile peace in eastern Ukraine.

–IANS

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