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World After years of war, will Ukraine's Zelenskiy and Russia's Putin give peace a chance?

12:15  08 december  2019
12:15  08 december  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Germany expels Russian diplomats over murder in Berlin

  Germany expels Russian diplomats over murder in Berlin German prosecutors have said there is enough evidence to suggest that Russia or Chechnya ordered the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin. Two Russian embassy workers have also been expelled.German federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday that they are taking over investigations into the murder of a Georgian asylum-seeker in Berlin, confirming earlier reports.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy , the recently elected president of Ukraine , invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to resume peace talks to solve the ongoing conflict between their respective countries on Monday. Zelenskiy made the invitation via YouTube, saying: "Now I want to address Russian

Volodymyr Zelenskiy , the recently elected president of Ukraine , invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to resume peace talks to solve the ongoing conflict between their respective countries on Monday. Zelenskiy made the invitation via YouTube, saying: "Now I want to address Russian

MOSCOW ⁠— A lot is riding on talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who are set to sit down in Paris on Monday for the first summit between leaders of the two countries since 2016.

Vladimir Putin wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Image: Volodymyr Zelensky, Vladimir Putin© Provided by NBC News Image: Volodymyr Zelensky, Vladimir Putin

A breakthrough would lead to an end of the war in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed more than 13,000 lives since it began almost six years ago.

The sides are still far ⁠— Ukraine was under Moscow's control when it was part of the Soviet Union, and some experts allege Russia wants a return of sorts to the previous status quo.

Putin and Zelensky in first talks to revive Ukraine peace efforts

  Putin and Zelensky in first talks to revive Ukraine peace efforts The leaders of Russia and Ukraine will meet on Monday for talks on the conflict in east Ukraine, in what could be a step forward in ending Europe's only active war. The summit in Paris will mark the first time Russia's Vladimir Putin meets face-to-face with Ukraine's new comedian-turned-president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Few are expecting an immediate breakthrough, but Zelensky's election this year and a recent easing of tensions have raised hopes of resolving the five-year conflict.

Russian analysts say that Ukraine ' s allies have given Putin leverage ahead of eastern Ukraine peace talks in It has been more than three years since the leaders of Russia and Ukraine sat down with their Ahead of the talks, Zelenskiy , who has made ending the war that has taken more than 13,000

KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukraine ' s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday pressed Russian leader Vladimir Putin for a resumption of peace talks after four Ukrainian soldiers were killed by shelling in the eastern Donbass border region.

Meanwhile, Ukraine simply wants Russian forces and their allies in the east of the country to leave.

"Our main expectation for [the summit] and any other formats is what I call RUxit," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Pristaiko wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "We want Russiа and Russian forces to leave Ukraine."

The meeting will be brokered by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but Putin and Zelenskiy are expected to have a private meeting. The ultimate goal of talks: to bring a shaky 2015 cease-fire known as the Minsk agreement into force as a first stepping stone toward ending the conflict.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine was sparked by Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and its subsequent support for pro-Russian separatists who took control over the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk on the border with Russia.

Ukraine crowds protest over Russia summit

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After Zelenskiy ’ s election, activists in Russia were asking: could Ukraine hold lessons for us? It’ s hard to minimise the contrasting ways in which Putin ’ s Russia and today’ s Ukraine approach the Soviet past. That common totalitarian legacy, and how it’ s dealt with, is the reason why comparing

The Zelenskiy administration initially saw Trump as a possible ally in revived negotiations. One idea was to try to convince Trump to invite Putin and Zelenskiy to next Even in the eyes of Putin , who is not very democratic, this popularity matters a lot." Zelenskiy , she says, still has a chance to succeed.

According to the United Nations, some 4 million civilians living in eastern Ukraine have had their lives disrupted by the conflict. A UNICEF report published Monday added that 430,000 children in the region "continue to bear the brunt" of the conflict.

Zelenskiy, a young comedian who was elected president in April on a reform agenda that prioritized ending the conflict, is no doubt aware of such statistics. He has routinely touted the need to resolve the conflict for the sake of those living under it. And in this regard, securing a meeting with Putin is a victory itself.

"It's a victory when the weapons fall silent and people speak up," Zelenskiy was quoted by TIME as saying in a joint interview with three other foreign publications in Kyiv published Monday. "That's already the first step."

But much will be riding on whether Putin gets what he wants — future leverage over not only eastern Ukraine but also Ukraine in general, said Alyona Getmanchuk, director of the New Europe Center think tank in Kyiv.

Putin sits down for talks with Ukraine leader for first time

  Putin sits down for talks with Ukraine leader for first time PARIS (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's president are meeting for the first time at a summit in Paris to find a way to end the five years of fighting in eastern Ukraine. Both of the leaders are sitting down in the French capital on Monday along with the leaders of France and Germany. Both of the leaders are sitting down in the French capital on Monday along with the leaders of France and Germany. The talks are focusing on the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement for eastern Ukraine that was brokered by France and Germany but has largely stalled.

KIEV/MOSCOW — Ukraine ’ s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday pressed Russian leader Vladimir Putin for a resumption of peace talks after four Ukrainian soldiers were killed by shelling in the eastern Donbass border region.

Ukraine ' s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he had a phone conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Wednesday morning after four Ukrainian soldiers were killed Zelenskiy called on Putin to exert influence over the Donbass fighters. He also said Putin had promised him something

"At this point, it is difficult to talk about what kind of concrete deliverables might come from the Paris meeting," she said.

Like the status of Crimea, aspects of the Minsk agreement have for years now proven irreconcilable. Specifically, the two sides cannot agree on an acceptable sequence for implementing the plan.

While Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin is prepared to address any topic Zelenskiy desires, even the status of annexed Crimea, he has also categorically ruled out that Crimea is on the table. It is unclear how and if this issue can be resolved. Putin made the annexation of Crimea a key foundation of his support at home.

However, on a smaller scale, the past few months have seen a number of positive developments.

Over three phone calls, the two leaders have facilitated major prisoner swaps, and last month Russia returned three Ukrainian naval vessels seized in a dramatic and dangerous clash on the Black Sea just over a year ago.

"Putin has no reason to yield, to give ground on Minsk," says Dmitry Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow think tank. "And Zelensky does not seem capable of fully implementing the deal." The two are likely only to produce a statement affirming their commitment to finding a way to implement the Minsk agreements.

This, at least, could bring a modicum of calm, if not overall peace.

Putin hails Russian arms sales abroad .
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says that arms sales abroad have continued to increase over the past year. Speaking Monday at a meeting with top officials, Putin said that arms exports are expected to top $13 billion this year, which he said exceeds last year's sales by more than $2 billion. The Russian leader added that Moscow's positions on the global arms market have continued to strengthen despite Western sanctions.Russian arms shipments abroad this year included the delivery of the S-400 air defense missile systems to Turkey — a deal that vexed Washington.

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