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    Mikhail Gorbachev meets with readers during presentation of his book After the Kremlin

    Gorbachev Hopes Moscow Meeting on Ukraine Crisis 'Will Finally Break Ice'

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    Ex-USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev hopes that the upcoming meeting of the leaders of Russia, Germany and France will "finally break the ice" in Russia's relations with the EU.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev said Friday he was sure that Friday’s meeting between the leaders of Germany, France and Russia on the Ukrainian crisis would help warm relations between Russia and the West.

    “This is very good, a very important meeting. It should not have been postponed and it shouldn’t be avoided because these issues shouldn’t be put off and demand mutual understanding and mutual cooperation between the leaders,” Gorbachev told RIA Novosti.

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    French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were in Kiev on Thursday to hammer out a deal with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to end the crisis in the country. Both leaders will arrive in Moscow Friday evening to discuss the new reconciliation plan with Putin.

    “I welcome this and hope that the ice will finally be broken,” Gorbachev added.

    Talks on Ukrainian reconciliation have been conducted in four formats to date. These include the Minsk, Weimar, Geneva and Normandy formats, the last of which is composed of the German, French, Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

    So far, the most successful meeting on Ukraine was held in Minsk in September 2014. The talks resulted in a ceasefire deal between Kiev forces and independence fighters, but the truce has been repeatedly violated, with both sides to the conflict trading blame for the violence.

    The military confrontation in eastern Ukraine severely intensified in 2015, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.

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    Tags:
    France, Mikhail Gorbachev, Germany, Ukraine, Russia
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