Leaders of France, Germany and Russia discussed ways to hold Normandy format talks as soon as possible to implement the Minsk peace deal, French presidency said on Wednesday.

 

During a phone conversation, the trio said they would aim to hold “constructive and useful” Normandy format talks needed to end the violent conflict in Ukraine.

 

French President Francois Hollande, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hoped to organize the meeting “very soon in Berlin,” the Elysee added in a press release.

 

Hollande and Merkel will hold talks with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko on Thursday, according to the statement.

 

The format of negotiations got the Normandy name after French and German leaders succeeded to convince Putin and Poroshenko to join a same table of negotiations for the first time during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the landing of the Allied forces that made a decisive contribution to the liberation of Europe from fascism.

 

In February 2015, Kiev and Moscow agreed a peace deal including a comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline of fighting, release of captives, amnesty to detained insurgents and restoration of the Ukrainian government control over the state border.

 

However, continued clashes in the zone have dashed hopes to fully implement the accord.

 

Xinhua