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Berlin Says Leaders Of Germany, France, Ukraine, Russia Agree To Ministerial-Level Meeting

A Ukrainian soldier fires at positions of separatists near Donetsk on September 13.
A Ukrainian soldier fires at positions of separatists near Donetsk on September 13.

Germany says Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have discussed the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine with the presidents of Ukraine and Russia, and agreed their foreign ministers should meet.

The German government said in a statement on October 11 that Merkel and Macron first had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the implementation of the Minsk agreements aimed at putting an end to the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Kremlin-backed separatists that has killed more than 13,200 since 2014.

The president's office in Kyiv said the topic of the talks was a possible summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the so-called Normandy format in which Germany and France are mediating between Ukraine and Russia.

The last such encounter between the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia took place in December 2019 in Paris. A follow-up summit in Berlin, originally planned for last year, is still pending.

The French and German leaders also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to progress with the peace talks, according to the German government.

"The interlocutors agreed to ask their foreign ministers to meet soon to achieve this," the statement said.

According to the Kremlin, it was agreed during the discussion to further examine the preconditions for a summit of the Normandy format.

The talks came ahead of an EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv on October 12 during which Zelenskiy will host European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council Charles Michel along with other EU officials.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service