Steinmeier: Probably no breakthrough in Ukraine talks

Prague - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday there was probably no breakthrough in Tuesday's talks in Minsk between Russia President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko.

But he told a news conference at the Czech foreign ministry that he hoped the talks between the two leaders would lead to further discussions and an end to the conflict.

"It is hard to analyse whether the meeting of President Poroshenko and President Putin in Minsk was a breakthrough in these relations. Perhaps not, but let's hope that this meeting was not an end of some development, but another beginning."

Germany has been at the forefront of efforts to secure a ceasefire to help resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Poroshenko in Kiev on Saturday and has had regular telephone calls with Putin in both German and Russian, which she speaks.