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MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arrive in Moscow on Friday evening to discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin possible ways to settle the situation in eastern Ukraine.
Merkel’s and Hollande’s planes landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo-2 airport. Upon arrival, the two leaders provided no comments.
Merkel and Hollande arrived in the Russian capital after a visit to Kiev on Thursday, where they had talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Ahead of the Moscow visit, Merkel said that the Ukrainian crisis could only be solved through diplomatic effort. "We don’t know whether talks in Moscow would be short or long but one thing is clear — we must resolve this conflict, stop the bloodshed," she said in Berlin, adding that any solutions must be based on the Minsk agreements.
The French leader said he and the German Chancellor were bringing some proposals to Moscow. No details of these proposals have been revealed so far.
Earlier on Friday, Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov said Friday’s meeting between the three leaders had been prompted by an aggravating situation in Ukraine. "But also the numerous initiatives the Russian president voiced in phone conversations with Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko in recent weeks have been good incentives [to the process]," Ushakov said, referring in particular to Putin’s letter to Poroshenko on January 15, in which he suggested an immediate pullback of heavy artillery.
"We are ready for a constructive conversation aiming to achieve certain agreements which will help to stabilize the situation and to establish direct contacts between official representatives of Kiev and Donbass," the presidential aide said, adding these agreements "should facilitate the more effective work of the Contact Group and assist in restoring economic ties between the Ukrainian government and the country's southeast.".