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Ukraine's FM Ready To Accept 'Reasonable Compromise' In Upcoming Peace Talks

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko (file photo)
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko (file photo)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko says Kyiv is ready to accept a "reasonable compromise" next month during the so-called Normandy format talks on ending the bloody five-year conflict in eastern Ukraine.

"We are going to the Normandy meeting with open ideas, an open mind, ready to accept a reasonable compromise," Prystayko told reporters on November 19 in Kyiv during a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France are scheduled to meet in December in an effort to end the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists in parts of the Donbas and Luhansk regions that has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy came to office this year vowing to end the war, but some of his critics have accused him of making too many concessions to Moscow.

The last round of Normandy talks took place in 2016. A 2015 peace plan that was brokered by France and Germany in Minsk has set a series of cease-fires in eastern Ukraine, but they have generally failed to hold and little progress has been made toward ending the conflict.

Several good-faith measures have been taken, such as a prisoner swap and a troop pullback from strategic areas, as efforts intensify to bring peace to the region.

Maas said following the meeting with Prystayko that Germany and France will do all they can to assist the sides in reaching a permanent solution to the conflict.

He added that "from our point of view, it's time for Russia to step up to the plate" to help end the conflict.

Along with supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014 after Moscow-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after months of street protests. The annexation has not been recognized by the international community.

The European Union and United States have provided crucial military and economic help in an effort to bolster Kyiv's efforts to turn toward the West and remain free of Russian domination.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa
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