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German ex-chancellor Merkel rules out her participation in Ukrainian peace process

Merkel said she had no idea of how the conflict in Ukraine will end

ROME, December 28. /TASS/. Former German chancellor Angela Merkel, who held the post in 2005-2021, said on Tuesday the question of her participation in the potential Ukrainian reconciliation process "has not been raised."

"Such question has not been raised," she said in an interview to Italian weekly magazine Sette.

Merkel said she had no idea of how the conflict in Ukraine will end.

"It will eventually end in negotiations. Wars normally end at the negotiating table," the ex-chancellor said. "But there is a difference between a peace that was imposed - which many people, including me, do not want to happen - and open, friendly negotiations. I don’t have anything else to add."

Commenting on her government's policy towards Russia and Ukraine, Merkel said the logic of her decision-making process "still seems rational" to her.

"It was all about preventing a war, similar to the conflict that is unfolding now. We failed, but it does not mean that it was wrong to try," she said.

After the coup d'etat in Ukraine in February 2014, mass protests began in the east of the country, where the Russian-speaking majority disagreed with Kiev’s new course. In response, the Ukrainian authorities in mid-April of the same year launched a military operation in the Donbass with the use of aviation and massive bombardments of residential areas. The Minsk agreements, reached in 2014-2015, were expected to furnish the basis for a settlement in the Donbass. They were signed with the mediation of the OSCE, Russia, Germany and France.

In an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit, published on December 7 this year, Merkel said the conclusion of the Minsk agreements was an attempt to give Ukraine time to get stronger. She argued it was clear to everyone that the conflict was frozen and the problem had not been resolved, "but this is what gave Ukraine invaluable time." She expressed doubt that at that time the NATO countries were able to provide support to Kiev to the extent that they do now.