"German Chancellor Angela Merkel sparred with Russian President over Ukraine in front of other world leaders Friday, as the most intense diplomatic effort in months aimed at defusing tensions there ended with little sign of progress," the newspaper says.
"On this, I can't see any kind of breakthrough whatsoever," Ms. Merkel said at a news conference Friday, referring to differences over implementing the cease-fire and peace plan signed Sept. 5 between Ukraine and Russia-backed rebels.
Mr. Putin had spoken of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in March as being lawful, and Ms. Merkel contested that in front of the other leaders, said one senior European Union official. Another official confirmed a terse exchange between the two.
"The Russian leader first met with Ms. Merkel late Thursday for almost 2½ hours, then again Friday morning at a breakfast session together with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and leaders of Italy, the U.K., France and the European Union," the media reminds.
After the breakfast talks, Mr. Peskov described the talks as difficult, notes the authors of the article
"Mr. Poroshenko said after meeting Mr. Putin that they had agreed that the accords signed last month should be the basis for actions by all sides, but noted that Mr. Putin had made similar commitments before," the article says
"On other issues, there appeared to be some accord, including for the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe to step up cease-fire and border monitoring in Ukraine, including the deployment of drones initially provided by European governments" - WSJ journalists write
Mr. Poroshenko said the talks had also yielded "cautious progress" on resolving a natural-gas dispute that has left Kiev running low on supplies heading into winter. The Ukrainian president said Ukraine and Russia had agreed "the basic terms" of a contract, but indicated that Kiev was struggling to find the funds to pay.