German Chancellor Merkel to visit Ukraine on Saturday, 1st visit since crisis erupted

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Kiev on Saturday and meet with top officials, making her first visit to Ukraine since the crisis there erupted.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Tuesday that Merkel is making the visit at President Petro Poroshenko's invitation and will also meet with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He says their talks will focus on Ukraine's relationship with Russia and ways to help Ukraine as it battles a pro-Russian insurgency in the east.

Germany has played a leading role in diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis in Ukraine. Merkel has spoken frequently with Poroshenko and with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier hosted a meeting with his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France on the crisis.