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Minsk talks on Ukraine still "very likely": France's Fabius

A four-way summit in Minsk aimed at resolving the Ukraine crisis is still very likely to go ahead as scheduled on Wednesday despite a number of unresolved issues, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.



Paris: A four-way summit in Minsk aimed at resolving the Ukraine crisis is still very likely to go ahead as scheduled on Wednesday despite a number of unresolved issues, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

"There are a number of problems which remain to be resolved ... but it is very likely to go ahead," Fabius told France Inter radio.

"It is really a last-chance negotiation," he said of the planned discussions between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France.

The meeting comes after rockets killed more than 10 civilians and soldiers in Ukrainian government-held territory on Tuesday. Germany`s foreign minister said he hoped no further explosion of violence would put the meeting in doubt.

Fabius listed the future status of Ukraine`s eastern regions, the mechanism for guaranteeing the integrity of Ukraine`s borders and ceasefire terms as among the issues still unresolved in lower level preparatory talks.

He also reaffirmed France`s opposition to sending weapons to arm Ukrainian forces after Britain on Tuesday said it was keeping under review its existing stance not to arm them.

"It is not among our plans," said Fabius. "We believe the solution is a political one."

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