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5/11/15

Germany - Russia: Merkel urges Russia cooperation, honours Soviet WWII dead

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday paid tribute to Soviet soldiers killed in WWII as she called for cooperation with Russia amid tensions over Ukraine, while lamenting the lack of a genuine ceasefire in the war-torn country. Merkel flew to Moscow to lay a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin walls, in an apparent compromise gesture after she skipped Russia's main festivities on Saturday.

Meeting her host Vladimir Putin ahead of talks at the Kremlin on the crisis in Ukraine, she stressed the importance of cooperation.

"It's necessary for us to work, to cooperate including over complicated situations – the way the situation is now – and try to find diplomatic solutions," Merkel said at the start of the talks after the wreath-laying ceremony.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of masterminding the brutal separatist conflict in east Ukraine that has killed more than 6,100 people in just over a year.

In recent months Merkel has played a key negotiation role over Ukraine, acting as a go-between for an isolated Kremlin and the West.

Read more: france 24 - Merkel urges Russia cooperation, honours Soviet WWII dead - France 24

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