Europe News

Merkel cites 'very, very slow' progress on Ukraine peace deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a news conference to present the outcome of the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

HAMBURG (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday there was no glossing over the fact that there had been “very, very slow” progress in implementing the Minsk peace accords aimed at ending years of violence in eastern Ukraine.

Merkel said she would hold four-way telephone talks on next steps soon with the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and France following a more procedural conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Hamburg.

“We agreed to continue the process. But we also observed that progress had been very, very slow - with stagnation in some cases, relapses in others. We didn’t gloss over the situation,” she said. “We will stay in touch, we’ll stick with the format. We don’t have any other basis.”

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Noah Barkin