13:32 GMT +305 December 2016
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L), French President Francois Hollande (C) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R) arrive to address a press conference following talks at the chancellery in Berlin on August 24, 2015

    German, French, Ukrainian Leaders Hold Talks in Berlin Before Normandy Meeting

    © AFP 2016/ JOHN MACDOUGALL
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    The trilateral meeting of the German, French and Ukrainian leaders has started in Berlin ahead of the Normandy Four meeting on the Ukrainian reconciliation scheduled for Wednesday evening.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, French President Francois Hollande and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko arrived at German Chancellery to participate in the Normandy Four meeting of leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. Russian President Vladimir Putin has just arrived in Berlin and is expected to join the meeting later in the day.

    The Normandy Four was created in 2014 to secure a peaceful settlement to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The group has held several rounds of talks on Ukrainian reconciliation, most notably in February when the quartet's leaders brokered a ceasefire agreement in Minsk, Belarus, signed by Kiev and the Donbass militia in February 2015.

    The sides failed to fulfill the agreements' conditions by the end of 2015, as initially intended, and the deadline was extended into 2016, with the sides continuing to blame each other for the failure to abide by the Minsk deal.

    The last meeting of the Normandy Four took place roughly a year ago, on October 2, 2015.

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    Normandy Group, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, Berlin, Germany, France, Ukraine
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