ROME (Reuters) – Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Monday he saw no preparations taking place for a promised summit over the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, adding that he had little hope it would make any progress even if it goes ahead.

The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany met in Paris in December to discuss the long-running Ukraine crisis and agreed to get together again within four months to keep the dialogue open.

“I am confident that when leaders say they will meet in April then they will … what I don’t see though is the preparation,” Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters during a visit to Italy.

“Before the December meeting … (preparations) started half a year beforehand. Now we have two months to go and I have not seen anything prepared. Maybe it will be a much faster process than last time and maybe we will make much more progress. I am sorry, but I doubt it.”

The conflict in eastern Ukraine that broke out in 2014 has killed more than 13,000 people, left a large swathe of Ukraine de facto controlled by Moscow-backed separatists and aggravated the deepest east-west rift since the Cold War.

The December summit did not produce the sort of breakthrough some had hoped for, such as an agreement on expanding a ceasefire zone, but it did lead to a prisoner exchange deal.

Prystaiko welcomed the subsequent large-scale prisoner swap that took place at the end of last year, but noted that more people had died in continued fighting in January 2020 than in the same month a year earlier.

“We haven’t managed to achieve a ceasefire … But even if we have just an exchange of prisoners, that is a good step for Ukrainians,” he said.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Toby Chopra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

As death toll mounts, Trump and press keep bashing each other

John Roberts reports from the White House. As the fast-moving tragedy unfolds — more than 3,000 Americans having died from the coronavirus, and the toll projected to reach at least 200,000 — one thing hasn’t changed. Some media people are…

Iranian politician offers US$3 million ‘to anyone who kills Trump’

Ahmad Hamzeh made the offer on behalf of the people of Kerman, the hometown and final resting place of commander Major General Qassem Soleimani Soleimani was killed on January 3 in US drone strike An Iranian lawmaker on Tuesday offered…

‘A real kick in the gut’: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson says ‘stay disciplined & wear mask’ after WHOLE FAMILY contracts Covid-19

The 48-year-old entertainer took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce the diagnoses, saying that he, his wife and two daughters – aged 4 and 2 – had come down with the illness about three weeks ago. “My wife Lauren, as…

South African anti-apartheid icon Andrew Mlangeni – who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela – dies aged 95 

South African anti-apartheid icon Andrew Mlangeni, who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela, has died aged 95. Mlangen was the last remaining survivor of the historic 1963-64 Rivonia Trial, which sentenced activists including Mandela to life imprisonment. He spent more than a…