The press office of the German government has denied reports by the British newspaper The Independent with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly brokered a secret deal on the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine.
Deputy spokesperson for the German government Christiane Wirtz told Ukrinform’s Berlin correspondent on Thursday.
“This report has no ground,” she said.
The German diplomatic circles also know nothing about the so-called “secret plan” of Merkel and Putin.
Moreover, the German media doubt the veracity of The Independent’s article. “(It) seems to me very unlikely,” Die Welt journalist Florian Eder commented on his Twitter page on the article in the British newspaper.
Interestingly, the author of the article, British journalist Margareta Pagano, does not reveal her informers, referring only to “sources close to the secret negotiations”. As noted on the website of The Independent edition, Margareta Pagano is a former business editor of the Independent on Sunday who now writes columns and business interviews for a range of publications, including the Independent, Independent on Sunday and London Evening Standard. According to the archive of the site, her article is the first one dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis.
As Ukrinform reported, The Independent reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have secretly agreed to solve the “Ukrainian crisis”.
The peace plan includes two main ambitions: stabilising the borders of Ukraine and providing the financially troubled country with a strong economic boost, particularly a new energy agreement ensuring security of gas supplies. Also, the international community would need to recognise Crimea’s independence and its annexation by Russia. The first part of the stabilisation plan requires Russia to withdraw its financial and military support for the various pro-separatist groups operating in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian President would agree not to apply to join NATO. In return, President Putin would not seek to block or interfere with the Ukraine’s new trade relations with the European Union. Also, Ukraine would be offered a new long-term agreement with Russia’s Gazprom, for future gas supplies and pricing. Russia would compensate Ukraine with a billion-dollar financial package for the loss of the rent it used to pay for stationing its fleets in Crimea and at the port of Sevastopol.
But insiders who are party to the discussions said that the “German peace plan is still on the table and the only deal around. Negotiations have stalled because of the MH17 disaster but they are expected to restart once the investigation has taken place.”