It was supposed to be a four-way meeting on the conflict in Ukraine: The leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin all sat together at one table. But Syria and Russia's airstrikes also dominated the conversation.
In a DW interview, Kurt Volker pledges that Washington will not strike a separate deal with Moscow over the heads of Europeans and Ukrainians - but says it is good that all agree the current situation must improve.
Representatives of the Syrian opposition and President Bashar al-Assad's regime are meeting in Astana for a sixth round of talks. They are hoping to secure a ceasefire, but how far off is a lasting peace agreement?
Former Deputy Secretary General of NATO Alexander Vershbow told DW the alliance remains committed to Ukrainian sovereignty. But as talks with Russia remain at a stalemate, he says other options must be explored.
The US Secretary of State has called on Russia to honor the 2015 Minsk accord, which calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine. Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's president, hailed the visit as a strong showing of Washington's support.
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