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ISTANBUL, October 10. /TASS/. The Normandy Four leaders — Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, will possibly meet in Berlin on October 19, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on Monday.
"It (the meeting) is planned. In Berlin," he said in reply to a question about a possible summit on October 19.
Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to confirm definitely that the date and the venue have been determined. "We will tell you when we are ready for this," he said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault earlier admitted that the Normandy Four summit could take place in Paris during Putin’s visit to the French capital scheduled for October 19. However, French Foreign Ministry representative Olivier Gauvin said the meeting could take place in Berlin.
Last week, Peskov said the Russian side was paving the way for Putin’s visit to Paris on October 19, where he is scheduled for talks with French President Francois Hollande. However, on Sunday, the French leader called into question the expediency of these talks. Later, the French foreign minister said Hollande would make the final decision on a personal meeting with Putin in Paris on October 19 "taking into account the situation in Syria".
The "Normandy format" (Normandy Four) negotiations for the settlement of the Donbass crisis have been under way since June 2014 when the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany who gathered in Normandy for the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day (the landing of Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in 1944) discussed the settlement of the conflict in south-east Ukraine for the first time. Several "Normandy Four" meetings have taken place at the highest and ministerial levels since then.
The ministerial meeting of the Normandy Four group (Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France) aimed at contributing to the settlement in Ukraine was last held in May in Berlin. Plans to hold talks in this format at the highest level on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China in early September were disrupted due to Kiev’s attempts to carry out a series of sabotage attacks in Crimea.