MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Despite several rounds of peace talks and a ceasefire agreement between Kiev forces and eastern Ukrainian militia reached in Minsk in February, the fighting in eastern Ukraine shows no signs of abating.
According to media reports, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande might pressure Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko into fulfilling his Minsk deal obligations during the Monday talks.
"Military operations must stop and arms be withdrawn… Secondly, we need the right conditions for elections in the Donbass," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday. "I hope Monday's meeting will allow us to advance on both points. We hope to have a solution by December at the latest."
Kiev meanwhile said that the meeting was called on its own initiative and the top issue on the agenda would be coordination of efforts to counter Russia's aggression in eastern Ukraine, including the withdrawal of heavy weaponry and military equipment from the line of contact.
The security of the OSCE monitoring mission in Donbass, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region are also expected to be discussed during the talks.
The trilateral meeting of the German, French and Ukrainian leaders might be followed by a Normandy Quartet summit, according to German government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz.
The Normandy Quartet — comprising Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine — has been making efforts to secure a peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which started in April 2014.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has resulted in nearly 6,800 deaths since its beginning, according to UN estimates.