Merkel visit to Russia lined up: Kremlin

AFP , Wednesday 15 Mar 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin set to cover the crisis in Ukraine, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

Putin's top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said "a date has been agreed" but did not give any more details on the visit, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the outlet that the visit would be announced "simultaneously" by Moscow and Berlin and that discussions would "of course" cover Ukraine.

The visit will be Merkel's first to the country in nearly two years after she last came to Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2015.

Merkel has been the main mediator with Putin over the crisis in Ukraine that has seen Moscow seize the Crimea region and back a separatist insurgency in the east of the country.

A peace plan brokered by France and Germany in February 2015 to end the conflict in Europe's backyard has stalled and bloody clashes continue regularly along the frontline.

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