Merkel, Juncker discuss the Ukraine crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels Wednesday afternoon and discussed the situation in Ukraine and relations with Russia among other issues.
Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Merkle said the meeting mostly discussed how to implement the Minsk accord which she and French President Francois Hollande had organised together with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We want to implement that successfully,” she stressed, adding that sanctions were also discussed but the real topic was how to put an end to the bloodshed in Ukraine and end hostilities.
“One thing is absolutely clear. If Minsk doesn’t work then (EU) member states and the European Commission are quite prepared for tougher sanctions,” underlined the German leader.
On his part, Juncker told the joint press conference that channels of communications should be kept open with Russia but noted that conditions are not in place to allow for an EU-Russia summit to take place.
Juncker said he “had a useful chat in a friendly atmosphere” with Merkel on investments in Europe, in-depth discussion on Ukraine, free trade agreements with third countries and digital agenda.
Merkel said they also discussed trade relations with Ukraine and Russia, the economic and monetary union and growth in Europe, and also free trade agreement with the US, Singapore and other countries.

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