Four-way summit on Ukraine conflict planned Wednesday
A summit between France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine is being planned for Wednesday in Minsk, the latest step in a hectic diplomatic effort to find a political solution to the Ukraine conflict, Berlin said.
The leaders of the four countries talked by telephone Sunday to discuss how to reach a "comprehensive settlement," a statement from the German chancellor's office said.
Diplomatic efforts would continue "with the aim of a summit in the 'Normandie' format be held in Minsk on Wednesday," said the statement, using the French term for the four-nation group.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Friday jetted to Moscow for crisis talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on ending the 10-month-old conflict that has claimed some 5,400 lives.
Merkel then went to the Munich Security Conference where she met US Secretary John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavarov and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to continue work on what Hollande said was "the last chance for peace."
Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko and Putin "this morning conducted an extensive telephone conference," the German statement said.
"They continued to work on a package of measures to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine," it said.
It added that the signatories of a failed Minsk agreement reached in September -- representatives of the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine as well the separatists -- "will also get together by Wednesday in Minsk."
© 2015 AFP