German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the standoff over Ukraine could be solved but only if control was tightened over the Ukraine-Russia border across which, the West alleges, Russia has been funneling arms to help a separatist rebellion.
Merkel was visiting Kiev as a prelude to a meeting next week between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders that diplomats say is the best chance in months of a peace deal in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting pro-Moscow rebels.
She arrived as tensions flared up again. NATO has alleged Russia’s military is active inside Ukraine helping the rebels, and Moscow angered Kiev and its Western allies by sending an aid convoy into Ukraine against Kiev’s wishes.
“There must be two sides to be successful. You cannot achieve peace on your own. I hope the talks with Russia will lead to success,” Merkel said, looking ahead to the meeting on Tuesday involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.
“The plans are on the table, about how you can achieve peace and good cooperation between the countries. Now actions must follow,” she told a news briefing.
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