PARIS, January 11. /TASS/. French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko met briefly at the Elysee Palace on Sunday to discuss preparations for a Normandy format (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) summit on Ukraine in the Kazakh capital Astana, the Ukrainian government press service reported.
The meeting continued about 15 minutes, in which the three officials “coordinated moves, discussed necessary terms and the schedule of preparations for the summit,” it said.
“It was marked that a meeting of foreign ministers and the Trilateral Contact Group (Russia-Ukraine-OSCE) must be held prior to the summit, and concrete moves within the context of the implementation of Minsk agreements coordinated,” it added.
Besides, the Ukrainian president briefly met with leaders of some EU countries, leaders of the European Union and international organizations.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported on January 9 that the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine - Sergey Lavrov, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Laurent Fabius and Pavel Klimkin were expected to meet in Berlin on Monday, January 12.
A ceasefire was agreed upon at talks between the parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the OSCE on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. A memorandum was adopted on September 19 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, outlining the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.
The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side.