Putin says working towards Wednesday summit with France, Germany and Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was working towards peace talks with the leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine in Minsk on Wednesday but the four still need to agree on a "number of points" by then.
"We've agreed that we will try to organise a meeting in the same format between heads of state and government in Minsk," Putin told Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko in televised remarks on Sunday.
"We will be aiming for Wednesday, if by that time we manage to agree on a number of points which we've been intensely discussing lately," Putin said in the Black Sea town of Sochi following a phone call with the leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine.
The Belarussian strongman for his part said he would do his best to organise Putin's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's Francois Hollande and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko.
"I am aware of the situation. Petro Poroshenko called me a few minutes ago and also told me about this," Russian news agencies quoted Lukashenko as saying.
Lukashenko said the summit in the Belarussian capital Minsk would take place Wednesday evening, saying he was keen to see peace return to "our common home."
"People in Donetsk, Donbass are not strangers and we in Belarus will do everything" to help them out.
In a separate statement, the Kremlin confirmed that a separate lower-level meeting would take place in Berlin on Monday.
"Then a meeting of the contact group will take place" with a view to laying the groundwork for the Minsk summit, the Kremlin said.
Deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin said he would represent Moscow in Berlin on Monday, Russian news agencies reported.
© 2015 AFP