Ukraine crisis: Merkel leaves open posiibility of pro-Russian separatists’ participation in talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed the prospect of multi-sided talks to forge a solution to the secession crisis in eastern Ukraine. At the same, Kyiv says that separatists “with blood on their hands” are to be excluded.

The Ukrainian government said it was preparing to negotiate with various parties, although it said leaders of the separatist armed uprising in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk would not be invited, claiming they had “blood on their hands.”

While Merkel welcomed the presence of multiple parties, she also reiterated on the eve of the talks that separatists who used violence could not be accommodated. The talks are being held under the guidance of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

“The more representative the round-table talks are, the better,” said Merkel. “However, it is obviously also clear that people are only welcome if they can credibly show that they are prepared to reach their goals without violence,” Deutsche Welle quotes the politician as saying.

At the same time, the German Chancellor said she did not recognise so called referendums which were held in the east of Ukraine in May, 11., following

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