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MOSCOW, February 8 /TASS/. The leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine are expected to hold telephone negotiations on Sunday that will culminate the shuttle efforts to find a way out the Ukraine crisis that were taken at the very top level this weekend.
"Work (on the Ukraine crisis) will continue and its preliminary results will be summed up next Sunday during a summit-level telephone conversation to be held in the "Normandy format", the Russian president’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said at night after the five-hour talks in the Kremlin last Friday between Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The European leaders arrived in Moscow last Thursday, February 5, after consultations with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko whom they had met in Kiev.
"Judging from proposals formulated by the French president and German chancellor, the text of a possible joint document on implementation of the Minsk agreements is being in the making. The document is supposed to include proposals made by the Ukrainian president and initiatives formulated today (on Friday) and added by Russian President Vladimir Putin," the Kremlin spokesperson said adding the text and the proposals would be submitted for approval to all the sides in the Ukraine conflict.
The participants in the negotiations preferred not to elaborate on the essence of the talks or the initiatives under discussion. The Russian president also refrained from making any public assessment of the Friday consultations.
His European colleagues were a bit more talkative but did not go farther than generalities. Upon his return to Paris, President Hollande said the negotiations of the past few days offered "one of the last chances" to settle the Ukraine crisis and the failure to de-escalate tensions would create the threat of a full-scale war in the region.
"If we fail to reach not just a compromise but a sustainable peace agreement, we all understand perfectly well what scenario the events will follow next: it is called a war," the French leader said.
He said that the Sunday telephone negotiations between the four leaders should bring their positions closer and enable them to approach the assigned goal.
"We still have not reached this goal. So long as the agreement is not signed, there are risks," President Hollande said.
Merkel left Moscow for the Munich Security Conference where she met Poroshenko. She said she did not know whether the Friday talks would be a success but the trip to Moscow was useful in her view.
There is no military solution to the conflict, we decided to focus on diplomatic efforts, Merkel said warning against supplying weapons to Ukraine from abroad.
In Munich, Merkel had a trilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden, who confirmed that there could be no military solution to the Ukraine conflict.
Asked whether Hollande’s and Merkel’s shuttle initiative could work, Poroshenko replied shortly: "Yes".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who is also in Munich held a series of consultations on the Ukraine crisis, including with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier.
In his speech at the conference, Lavrov said that Russia was ready to act as a guarantor of the future agreements between Kiev, Lugansk and Donetsk. Russia confirmed its stance that the sides in conflict should establish a direct dialogue with each other.