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MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Gratitude to French President Francois Hollande from the "Normandy Four" counterparts expressed in a telephone conversation between the four countries’ leaders does not mean that there will be a pause in the Ukrainian settlement until the end of the French presidential election, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS.
"This [gratitude to Hollande] just means that the four countries’ leaders will not be able to communicate in this format until the presidential election in France [scheduled for April 23 - TASS]," Peskov explained.
"Therefore, that was a good reason to thank him," he said when asked whether the Normandy process will stall during the French presidential election.
Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko - earlier held a telephone conversation, during which they discussed the Ukrainian settlement. According to the Kremlin press service, during the conversation "gratitude was expressed to the French president for his efforts within the ‘Normandy Four' and the hope that work in this format will continue after the French presidential election."
The voting in the first round of the presidential election in France will be held on April 23. Opinion polls show that founder of the En Marche! (On the Move) movement, Emmanuel Macron, and leader of the National Front political party, Marine Le Pen, are likely to make it to the second round due to be held on May 7.