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Fearing Ukraine Army Will Crumble, Merkel Talks Peace

Angela Merkel came to Kiev Thursday with a peace plan. Today she is in Moscow to present it to Putin. According to the well-informed Süddeutsche Zeitung the plan proposes:

  • An immediate ceasefire
  • Broad autonomy for Donbass
  • Recent rebel territorial gains recognized
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This article originally appeared at German Economic News. It was translated from its original German by Google Translate, so we apologize for the funky grammar.

The federal government has denied a newspaper report of a peace plan by Germany and France to Ukraine. "This is not true," a government spokesman said on Thursday evening as reported in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (Friday edition).

The Journal had reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande wanted to propose on Thursday night in Kiev an immediate ceasefire to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

However, the denial was not convincing: the new program had been already prepared days in advance by high officials of the governments involved, writes the SZ. The triggers for this dynamic are the military gains of the separatists and the debate on arms shipments of the United States.

Poroshenko wants to make it clear that the last chance had come to save Ukraine against a dramatic military defeat and economic collapse. On Thursday, the Ukrainian central bank had to raise its key interest rate by five percentage points to 19.5 percent. The national currency UAH Then fell by almost half their value.

Therefore, it seems Merkel and Hollande now advised to speak with Putin on a solution to the conflict.

In return for a ceasefire separatists should be granted in eastern Ukraine broad autonomy in an area that is greater than previously planned. The demarcation line that is still based on the Minsk Agreement will be unsustainable. According to the SZ territorial gains of the separatists of up to 1500 square kilometers would have to be partially included.

Sources were not disclosed, but the SZ is well informed usually in such themes. Even if the peace plan in the reported form should still be ready for signing Angela Merkel apparently expects the military and economic collapse of Ukraine.

Hollande and Merkel came together on Thursday in Kiev with Poroshenko to find a way out of the escalating situation. On Friday they want to discuss in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin on ending the conflict. Background of the diplomatic thrust are the increasingly violent battles in the east of the country.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier traveled to Latvia and Poland on Thursday to discuss there with his counterparts on the crisis. Steinmeier warned of a "total loss of control" in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. Moreover, you should be explored whether there are ways, "but still calm the situation contribute before the conflict finally gets out of control and is not to get by the policies implemented under control".

Both Human Rights Watch and the OSCE reported this week that remains were found of cluster bombs in Lugansk. There is evidence that these were fired on the part of the Ukrainian army. In the attack were injured two civilians were killed and an unknown number of other civilians.

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