Ukraine’s president calls for summit with Merkel, Macron and Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday called for a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ease tensions with Moscow.

“I want to get the four of us” together to discuss “the issue of the security situation in eastern Ukraine and the de-occupation of our territories,” Zelensky said after a meeting with Macron in Paris in which Merkel participated by video link. 

Zelensky also said he hopes to restore the ceasefire in war-torn eastern Ukraine, where Ukraine’s army for years has been fighting pro-Russia separatists, next week after an upcoming meeting of four advisers to the leaders of Russia, France and Germany.

The ceasefire “was productive at first, but then, unfortunately” ended, but Kiev expects to restore it after the meeting of advisors on April 19, the president told reporters.

“We see the aggravation of the situation: only this year 30 Ukrainian troops were killed,” he said, specifying that most of the casualties were caused by sniper fire.

“You can’t look at this without tears and horror,” he added.

Concern has mounted over the recent uptick in fighting in the conflict-torn region and after the massing of Russian troops along Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders and in annexed Crimea.