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Russia Expects No Breakthroughs At Berlin Summit On Ukraine

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russia says it does not expect any breakthrough in resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine at an upcoming summit in Berlin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the comments on October 19, hours before the leaders of Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine were scheduled to discuss the peace process.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he did not have "very high expectations."

Peskov also said the aim of the meeting was to assess the situation and identify obstacles to implementing the Minsk peace agreement.

The 2015 accord brokered by France and Germany has helped end large-scale fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists in the country's east, but clashes have continued and efforts to reach a political settlement have stalled.

The conflict has killed more than 9,600 people since April 2014.

On the sidelines of the Berlin summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are expected to discuss Syria with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, but Merkel cautioned against expecting "miracles" to come out of the talks.

Germany and France are sharply critical of Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and accuse both sides of atrocities in the five-year-war.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP