Russian President Vladimir Putin heads to Berlin today for a summit on Ukraine amid escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over Russia’s role in Ukraine and Syria.
The meeting between the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders will evaluate the implementation of the Minsk peace accords for Ukraine, Berlin and Paris.
Putin’s first visit to the German capital since the Ukraine conflict broke out in 2014 will come the day before the 28 leaders of the European Union are due to discuss relations with Russia – including sanctions over Ukraine, which come up for renewal late this year.
The EU summit in Brussels is also expected to discuss Russia’s role in Syria, which sparked a furious row between Russia and France last week that prompted Putin to cancel a visit to Paris.
Today’s Ukraine summit would also discuss the next steps in the process towards ending the crisis in eastern Ukraine, France said yesterday.
Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, backs a separatist, proMoscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine that has claimed nearly 10 000 lives. -AFP