MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is open to dialogue over the crisis in Ukraine in any format, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti on Friday commenting on French President Francois Hollande’s suggestion of holding talks in the so-called “Normandy format.”
“Russia is always ready for dialogue in any format,” Peskov said.
Earlier, Hollande said that France and Germany were ready to organize a new round of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The so-called “Normandy format” was established in early June as the presidents of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine held a series of meetings over the situation in Ukraine on the sidelines of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of allied troops' landing in Normandy, France.
Ukraine’s southeastern regions never recognized the legitimacy of the new authorities that took over the country after the February 22 regime change. They started protests against the new government and held referendums on self-determination, voting to separate from Ukraine. In return, Kiev launched a military operation to crack down on the independence supporters.
Moscow continues to insist on an immediate end to the “punitive operation” in eastern Ukraine, as it will not benefit any party involved.