German chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during their statement to the press in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday the standoff over Ukraine could be solved but only if control was tightened over the Ukraine-Russia border across which, the West alleges, Russia has been funnelling arms to help a separatist rebellion.Merkel was visiting Kiev as a prelude to a meeting next week between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders that diplomats say is the best chance in months of a peace deal in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting pro-Moscow rebels.NATO has alleged Russia's military is active inside Ukraine helping the rebels, and Moscow angered Kiev and its Western allies by sending an aid convoy into Ukraine against Kiev's wishes."The Ukrainian side and our European partners will do everything possible to bring about peace -- but not at the price of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the independence of Ukraine," he said.Hours before her plane landed in Kiev, there was heavy artillery bombardment in Donetsk, the main separatist stronghold on the east of Ukraine, near the border with Russia. Soon after that, Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea, and a separatist rebellion broke out in eastern Ukraine.
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