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As Poroshenko visits, Merkel says Minsk still flaunted

Ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Minsk ceasefire is still being violated. The talks come just days after Merkel’s return from a visit to Russia.

Ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin on Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Minsk ceasefire needed to be enforced. The pair were expected to discuss the civil war in Ukraine, as well as the frequently flaunted ceasefire agreed to in February in the capital of Belarus.

"On the basis of February's Minsk agreement," Merkel said on Wednesday, "we must realize that we are not yet where we want to be."

It has been a

busy week for the chancellor

. The talks between Merkel and Poroshenko came just days after the chancellor returned from

a weekend visit to Moscow

, where she met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

'A new format'

Merkel's trip to Moscow preceded

a meeting on Tuesday

between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Putin in the Winter Olympics city of Sochi. On Wednesday, the Russian mass-circulation daily "Moskovsky Komsomolets" called the high-level visits "links of the same chain."

"Without renouncing tough rhetoric and sanctions, the West is clearly trying to look for a new format in ties with Moscow, at least when it comes to problems related to international security," Moskovsky Komsomolets editorialized.

Poroshenko thanked Merkel for Germany's support. Ukrainian officials, along with EU and US leaders, claim that

Russia has militarily supported separatists

in

the civil war

, which has left more than 6,000 people dead since April 2014, according to the United Nations.

"Germany is not just a trustworthy partner, but a leader in the European Union," Poroshenko said on Wednesday.

mkg/kms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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