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MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande will meet during a visit to Armenia’s capital Yerevan on April 24. Ukraine will be one of the main themes in focus.
Also, presidents may discuss the situation in the Middle East and the delivery of Mistral amphibious assault ships to Russia.
"I proceed from the assumption that the theme of Mistrals may be raised during the talks in Yerevan. There are quite a few other issues for discussion, Ukraine in the first place," Ushakov said.
"It is very important for all parties to step up the implementation of the Minsk Accords," he said.
Putin will visit Yerevan on April 24 at the invitation of Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan for participation in ceremonies commemorating the victims of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire a hundred years ago, the Kremlin’s press-service said earlier. Russian presidential secretary Dmitry Peskov then did not rule out the possibility Russian and French presidents might meet on the sidelines.
"Both of them will be there at the same time. Their contacts on the sidelines of the official schedule of the Armenian side cannot be ruled out," he said.
Also, Peskov remarked that Russia had no intention of raising the theme of the Mistral ships affair at the Putin-Hollande meeting.
"As far as the delivery of Mistral ships are concerned, it is rather a problem of the French side, which has received money from the customer but has not complied with its liabilities to date," he said, adding that if the theme were raised by the French side, it would be discussed.
Ushakov is certain that the issue will be touched upon.
"Yes, I do believe that the presidents will be talking about Mistrals," he said, adding that rather intensive consultations were being held between the governments on the issue.