Russia, France, Germany may meet on Ukraine: Kremlin
October 12, 2021 12:19 PM
Russian, French and German foreign ministers could meet to discuss the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said Monday.
Moscow said President Vladimir Putin, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel instructed the ministers to work towards a meeting during a joint telephone call Monday.
Moscow did not a give a date for the possible meeting.
According to the Kremlin, it would take place within the framework of the so-called "Normandy Four" -- which usually brings together officials from Moscow and Kiev under the mediation of Paris and Berlin.
In its statement, the Kremlin did not say if Ukraine would take part in the meeting.
The leaders had instructed their foreign ministers to "intensify their contacts and work" after an "difficult" situation in eastern Ukraine, it said.
The leaders also agreed to consider organising a summit, the Kremlin statement added.
During the phone call, Putin accused the Kiev authorities of "stubbornly evading" fulfilling agreements reached at peace talks.
France and Germany have been mediators in the conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow separatists since 2015 in the so-called Normandy format and have been overseeing a fragile ceasefire.
Angela Merkel visited both Moscow and Kiev in August.
Afterwards, she then expressed her hope that peace talks on the conflict between Kiev and pro-Russia separatists would continue after she left power.
The Ukrainian army is locked in a simmering conflict with breakaway fighters in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that erupted after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
The conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives.
Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of sending troops and arms to support the separatists, which Moscow denies.
The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on eight more officials accused of targeting opponents of Russia's seizure of Crimea, ahead of a visit to Kiev by the bloc's top officials.