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negotiations

Hollande, Merkel going to Minsk to attend talks on Ukraine - media

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French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have decided to attend negotiations on settling the Ukraine crisis in Minsk on Wednesday, Paris media reported with reference to the Elysee Palace.

The French and German leaders made this decision in an attempt to use every possible chance to secure a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis, the reports said.

After briefly discussing the situation on the telephone on Wednesday morning, both leaders decided to travel to the Belarusian capital so as to meet there with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the second half of the day, the French presidential office said.

The negotiations on the Ukraine crisis and on adopting a document that should help put an end to the ongoing hostilities are proceeding with difficulties, but all chances should be used to resolve the problem, the media reported with reference to the Elysee Palace.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had said earlier on Wednesday that the likelihood that Hollande and Merkel would travel to Minsk was great. The minister pointed out, however, that the participants in the talks still had disagreements on a number of fundamental issues.

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