(Bloomberg) -- The conflict in eastern Ukraine must be resolved before the onset of winter makes already unbearable conditions for people on the ground even worse, according to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
Ahead of a first meeting between Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Paris next month, Maas said the Ukrainian and Russian presidents have “the best opportunity in a long time to finally take decisive steps toward resolving the crisis.”
Talks to end the five-year conflict last month produced the first major breakthrough since a lapsed 2015 peace accord, paving the way for the Paris meeting. French President Emmanuel Macron will host Putin, Zelenskiy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Dec. 9 as part of four-way “Normandy Format” talks.
“After years of standstill, there is finally movement again,” Maas said in a statement Tuesday before a trip to Ukraine.
“We want to do everything in our power to support Ukraine in alleviating the plight of the population,” he added. “Time is short before the onset of winter.”
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