BERLIN Aug 24 German Chancellor Angela Merkel
warned on Sunday that closely watched talks next week between
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko
in Minsk were unlikely to deliver a breakthrough that would
resolve the crisis in Ukraine.
A day after she paid a highly symbolic visit to Kiev, Merkel
reiterated that a political solution was needed and that there
was no military solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Putin and Poroshenko are due to meet in the Belarussian
capital Minsk on Tuesday at a meeting that will also include
senior members of the European Union and the Russian-led Customs
"My visit to Kiev was preparation for such a meeting
(between Putin and Poroshenko) which certainly won't result in
the breakthrough," said Merkel in an interview with ARD
"But you have to talk to each other if you want to find
solutions," said Merkel, adding the situation was very fragile.
Merkel, who has tried to play a role in easing the crisis,
said she would do everything possible to help the two sides
overcome differences on questions from decentralisation to
trading ties and gas deliveries.
"What we say, and especially I as someone who experienced
how Germany could be united peacefully with the agreement of its
neighbours, say that the Ukrainian people must have the
opportunity to choose their path," she said.
Merkel, brought up in Communist East Germany, said she did
not want to do anything that would hurt Russia, indeed she
wanted to have good trading and diplomatic relations with
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Stephen Powell)