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Merkel suggested Moscow, Kiev negotiate directly years ago, Lavrov says

© Mikhail Metzel/POOL/TASS

German ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed Russia and Ukraine negotiate directly years ago, despite the Minsk Agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Russian TV Wednesday.

"Several years before the end of her chancellorship, [Merkel] said during a conversation with [Vladimir] Putin, when he once again drew her attention to what was written down regarding the need to resolve the issue of the special status [of Donbass] in a direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk - she said: ‘Vladimir, you understand, this is all irrelevant, it is a technical ambiguity. In reality, you decide everything in Donbass, so you must negotiate with Kiev’," Lavrov said.

The statement Merkel made in her interview for Die Zeit that the Minsk Agreements was and attempt "to buy time for Ukraine to become stronger" was neither an "epiphany" nor an attempt to catch the departing train that was gaining its Russophobic momentum," Lavrov said. This opinion that confirms that no one planned to implement the Minsk Agreements was "deeply rooted" in the ex-Chancellor, the Minister believes, TASS reports. 


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