19:26 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, background 2nd right, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, foreground right, during the Normandy format meeting between the leaders of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France on settling the Ukrainian conflict, at the Paul Loebe Haus parliamentary building in Berlin. (File)

    Normandy Format Crisis Settlement Talks Not Ruled Out - Kremlin

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    Moscow does not rule out that Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine could hold talks in the near future as part of the Normandy format on the Ukrainian crisis settlement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

    BISHKEK (Sputnik) — Moscow does not rule out that Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine could hold talks in the near future as part of the Normandy format on the Ukrainian crisis settlement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

    "We do not rule out the possibility that the heads of state will decide in the near future to communicate in one form or another," Peskov told reporters a week after deputy-level Normandy format consultations in Belarus.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord

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    Ukrainian, Normandy Format, Normandy Four, Ukraine, Moscow, Russia
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