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Merkel Tells Putin No Astana Summit Without Progress In Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that a four-way summit on the Ukraine crisis will not be held until progress has been made on the Minsk peace plan.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel told Putin via phone on January 10 that she expects Moscow to use its influence on pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to reach "consensual solutions."

She told Putin that a summit of French, German, Russian, and Ukrainian leaders proposed for the Kazakh capital, Astana, cannot be held due to a lack of progress on the situation.

Such a summit had been proposed to be held in Astana on January 15.

Those countries' foreign ministers are to meet in Berlin on January 12.

Seibert said Merkel also discussed the Ukraine crisis with Poroshenko.

More than 4,700 people have been killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine since April.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and AFP