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Putin-Zelensky meeting’s timeframe depends on leaders, Kremlin aide says

The talks’ agenda includes the Minsk deal’s implementation

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky are scheduled to hold a meeting on Monday after the Normandy Four summit in Paris, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

"The meeting [between Putin and Zelensky - TASS] will take place. There is an agreement on it. Everything will fit the format that the summit’s organizers, the French, will suggest, obviously after all events [of the summit] end," Ushakov said. Speaking on how long the meeting would last, he noted that "this depends on the leaders."

In comment on the issues, which Putin and Zelensky could discuss, Ushakov stressed that the talks’ agenda includes the Minsk deal’s implementation. "We’ll see," Ushakov said, answering a question whether Russia was ready to discuss various Kiev’s ideas, including on "municipal guards" in Donbass.

This will be the first personal meeting for Putin and Zelensky, who assumed office this May. Earlier, the two leaders had four phone conversations - in July, August, September and November. The Russian leader is expected to discuss with his Ukrainian counterpart various issues, including challenging aspects of gas talks.

The Normandy Four negotiations for ironing out the Donbass crisis have been underway since June 2014. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany 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) to discuss the settlement of the conflict in Donbass for the first time. Since then, a number of phone conversations and high-level meetings have taken place as well as contacts between the foreign ministers. The latest Normandy Four summit was held in Berlin on October 2016. A long break between the summits is explained by Kiev’s failure to implement the agreements reached at the previous meetings of the leaders.