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Germany's Merkel to press Ukraine peace talks after Russian election

13 March 2018

Germany's veteran leader also signed a joined policy paper for her next government with two coalition partners, Bavaria's conservative CSU party and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).

Merkel is scheduled to be sworn in for a fourth term as German chancellor Wednesday this week, along with the new German government, after nearly six months since federal elections took place in the country.

Merkel has been only a caretaker chancellor since October, and many unresolved issues await the new government.

Merkel listed internal security and European cooperation among the new government's priorities, as well as new challenges such as responding to import tariffs announced by U.S. President Donald Trump. "Such differences of opinion over whether situations are fair or not have to be resolved in talks, I think, and not if it can be avoided in some way by unilateral actions", she told reporters in Berlin.

Merkel said she and her finance minister-designate, Olaf Scholz, would visit France after being sworn in, and "we will be able to say more than we could in December" at an European Union summit later this month.

The presidential election in Russian Federation this month offers a new chance to make progress on the Minsk peace deal to end the crisis in Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, ruling out lifting sanctions before tangible progress.

Merkel's designated deputy and finance minister, Olaf Scholz of the SPD, joked that the "grand coalition", forged half a year after inconclusive September elections, had "not started as a love marriage". "Of course, for all the positions to be filled in the next year ... we will have good candidates, but I don't want to speculate today", Merkel said.

"That is the job we have and we will fulfill it".

Germany's Merkel to press Ukraine peace talks after Russian election