Hollande, Merkel to propose new Ukraine peace plan

French president says plan is based on restoring Crimea, eastern provinces to the war-torn country

French president says plan is based on restoring Crimea, eastern provinces to the war-torn country

KIEV - French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Thursday that they are presenting a new peace plan for the Ukraine conflict.

"We will make a new proposition for ending the conflict," Hollande told a press conference. "It will be based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine."

This means that it will entail restoring the Crimea, which has been annexed by Russia, and the eastern provinces, which have been taken over by pro-Russian separatists.

In Kiev, Merkel and Hollande are to discuss their new plan with Ukrainian president Petro Porochenko, and, on Friday, with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

"With Angela Merkel, we have agreed that we have special responsibilities. Germany has strong economic relations with Eastern Europe, and strong links with Ukraine and Russia. France has a historic, cultural, political, and economic link with Russia," Hollande said.

Hollande warned that the diplomatic option could not be prolonged indefinitely. "But it must be tried: if it is not, we will never be certain that it could not succeed."

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