Germany: No plans to add US to group solving Ukraine crisis

Germany's foreign minister says there are no plans to add the U.S. to the group of countries that have been meeting in efforts to help reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel met his French, Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference.

Gabriel said all sides will use their influence to try and implement an agreement for a cease-fire starting Monday and the withdrawal of heavy weapons between Russia-backed rebels and the government in eastern Ukraine.

Asked about linking the U.S. to the group, Gabriel said the matter has been discussed with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

He said "we think there must be close contact with the United States, but we think this format ... should be maintained."

He added the U.S. agreed.