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Ukraine's Poroshenko 'Not So Optimistic' About Berlin Summit


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin in February

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he does not have "very high expectations" ahead of a four-way summit to address the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

"I'm very optimistic about the future of Ukraine, but unfortunately not so optimistic about tomorrow's meeting," Poroshenko said on October 18 in Oslo.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and President Francois Hollande of France to Berlin on October 19 to "assess the implementation” of the Minsk agreements, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Seibert said they will also “discuss further steps" in the process toward ending the Ukraine crisis.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “[too] early to speak about any specific agreement."

The four leaders held their last summit on Ukraine in Paris in October 2015.

The 2015 Minsk peace agreement 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.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa