Germany's Foreign Minister opened his meeting on Eastern Ukraine saying the political process has come to a standstill. Top diplomats from 4 countries met for a 12th time to find a lasting peace. Apart from hopes for a lucky 13, nothing came of it.
The swap comes after a recommitment to a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, where over 10,000 people have been killed. A US decision to provide Ukraine with weapons has seen Russia warn the US is encouraging "new bloodshed."
The two leaders agreed on a deal to bring Russian ceasefire observers back to eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin has accused Kyiv of obstructing their officers' work in Donbass and cutting them off from the front line.
Amid soaring tensions in eastern Ukraine's conflict, the German chancellor has urged "immediate" steps to prevent more violence. But Russia said the Trump administration's latest decision could lead to "new bloodshed."
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Berlin wants to agree on a UN peacekeeping mandate before Russia's election in March. Gabriel was also critical of the US decision to supply Kyiv with anti-tank missiles.
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