MINSK, February 11 /TASS/. The "Normandy four" leaders have started talks on the Ukraine settlement. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have gathered at the Independence Palace in Minsk for their meeting.
Almost 500 journalists had gathered to cover the summit. They could see the "Normandy four" leaders arrive at the Independence Palace where they were met and greeted by the host - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
The leaders did not make any statements before the meeting.
The summit may signal a culmination of the intense multilateral efforts to tap clues to resolution of the crisis in south-eastern Ukraine.
Diplomatic efforts on the Ukrainian issue picked pace over the past seven days, as Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande visited Kiev and Moscow where they made public their proposals on how to settle the Ukrainian problem.
On Sunday, the Normandy Four discussed the most recent developments over the phone and appointed a meeting in Minsk for Tuesday.
In the brief interval between the meetings in Moscow and Minsk, Merkel visited Washington for talks with Barack Obama. She said after the meeting that one more attempt to settle the conflict in Ukraine should be made, adding that she would have never pardoned herself if this attempt had not been made.
Hollande told reporters before departure for Minsk he was leaving with a firm conviction a much-desired compromise solution would be found eventually.
Poroshenko said before boarding the jet in Kiev was going to Minsk to cease fire and open a political dialogue immediately and unconditionally.