Ukraine worries about concessions at talks with Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian president's envoy for peace talks with Russia-backed separatists says he's worried that leaders of France and Germany will push Ukraine to make unacceptable concessions to Russia.

Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a bitter standoff since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and threw its weight behind separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Leonid Kuchma told The Associated Press Friday that he is concerned the leaders of France and Germany, who mediate talks between Russia and Ukraine, will push President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to make unacceptable trade-offs to Russia.

He said the Ukrainian government is under pressure to approve a plan for the separatists to hold local elections in the areas they control without any oversight or control by the Ukrainian government.