MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – It is too early to talk about possible negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"The negotiations are difficult, so there may be a variety of formats, I repeat, but as to when and how they take place – it's far too early to say," Peskov said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
Talks at the highest level are held only when well prepared, the spokesman said, noting that Russia would prepare for such talks.
"The negotiations are now being actively held at various levels, the parties are seeking mechanisms to resolve the internal Ukrainian crisis. This news is joyful, but as to the format of our future negotiations... I’d rather not speak about any final agreements," Peskov said, commenting on a statement from the Ukrainian president’s press service about a possible meeting between Putin and Poroshenko.
On August 17, another round of negotiations between foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Pavlo Klimkin of Ukraine seeking to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine was held at the Villa Borsig hotel in Berlin, Germany. The talks were also attended by German Foreign Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his counterpart in France, Laurent Fabius. According to Steinmeier, the talks were difficult, but some progress was made.
The foreign chiefs were expected to report back to their respective heads of government and decide on the format of follow-up negotiations on Monday or Tuesday.
Kiev launched a special military operation in eastern Ukraine in mid-April to suppress independence supporters, who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country’s new authorities. Moscow has repeatedly urged Kiev to immediately stop the punitive operation and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.