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Germany and France plan to mediate in Ukraine conflict

Brussels (dpa) -Germany and France want to play a greater mediatory role between Moscow and Kiev again in view of the tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Brussels. Élysée sources later said they were working on a resumption of the Normandy format. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasised: “This is the right format for this conflict.”

Germany and France have been mediating between Ukraine and Russia in the so-called Normandy format since 2014. The focus is on the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The three-way meeting between Scholz, Macron and Zelensky took place on the sidelines of a summit of the so-called Eastern Partnership of the EU. The Eastern Partnership summit was established to give Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine stronger ties with the EU.

The Ukraine conflict will also be addressed at an EU summit that started in Brussels on Thursday and in which Scholz will be taking part for the first time as federal chancellor. Steps to tackle the alarming new coronavirus variant Omicron will also play a role at this meeting of heads of state and government. The main focus is likely to be on promoting vaccination, including boosters, and avoiding travel restrictions within the EU. Other topics on the agenda include the rise in energy prices, which is affecting many EU citizens.

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