Merkel dampens hopes for Ukraine ceasefire deal in Moscow talks

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 06, 2015 6:10 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was unclear whether she and French President Francois Hollande would achieve a breakthrough with Russian President Vladimir Putin in talks later on Friday aimed at resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

"It is totally open as to whether we will, with these talks, succeed in achieving a ceasefire, we don't know if that will be achieved today, if, perhaps further talks will be needed," Merkel said at a news conference with the Iraqi prime minister in Berlin before departing for Moscow.

"We don't know if we will have long or short talks in Moscow or if these will be the last talks. We can only do what we can to resolve this conflict and especially to end the bloodshed," she said.

Merkel and Hollande had flown to Kiev for talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Michael Nienaber)