news Monday, March 09, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | February 5, 2015 | 5:55 pm IST

French President Francois Hollande said he is heading to Ukraine on Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to present a new peace initiative.

He said they would put forward the new plan before meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Friday, BBC reported.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also landed in Kiev on Thursday for talks.

The diplomatic push to end the conflict, which has killed more than 5,000 people since last April, comes amid intensified fighting.

"Ukraine is at war. Heavy weapons are being used and civilians are being killed daily," Hollande said at a news conference on Thursday.

"I decided, with Angela Merkel, to take a new initiative. We go to Kiev this afternoon."

Hollande said the new peace proposal was based on the "territorial integrity" of Ukraine, which could be "acceptable to all".

A spokesman for the Kremlin confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet with the two European leaders Friday to discuss "the fastest possible end to the civil war in south eastern Ukraine".


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