Kremlin confirms Normandy Four leaders to meet next month on Ukraine

Xinhua file photos of Volodymyr Zelensky, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron.

MOSCOW -- The Kremlin confirmed on Monday that leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, known as the Normandy Four, will discuss the situation in Ukraine in Paris on Dec. 9.


"It is true. The preparations are underway and they have already entered the final stage," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.


Later on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold an international telephone conversation "largely related to preparations for the Normandy-format meeting," he added, giving no further details.


On Friday, the Elysee Palace announced that French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin will meet in the French capital to seek a solution to the Ukraine crisis.


The upcoming four-party summit, or the Normandy format, is expected to firm up a plan approved in October by the Trilateral Contact Group of diplomats from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.


The plan envisages holding elections in eastern Ukraine and granting the rebel region temporary special status, which requires changes in Ukraine's legislation.


Established in June 2014, the Normandy Four is a contact group for senior officials from the four countries to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine that erupted in April 2014.

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