Meetings of the Russian President with the French leader Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are planned before the meeting.
A special bilateral meeting of the presidents of Russia and Ukraine – Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky – is scheduled for Monday at the Elysee Palace after the completion of the negotiations between the leaders of the “Normandy format” (Germany, Russia, France, Ukraine). This was announced by a source close to the organization of the summit in Paris.
“Putin’s meeting with Zelenski is planned at the Elysee Palace after the Normandy format meeting and the joint press conference of the four leaders,” the source said. According to him, separate meetings of Putin with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are planned before the meeting in the format of the “four”.
The meeting of the four leaders in the Normandy format is tentatively scheduled for 2.5 hours, the source said.
For Putin and Zelensky, who led the Ukrainian state in May of this year, this will be the first personal meeting, previously the leaders had four phone calls – in July, August, September and November. The Russian leader is expected to discuss various issues with the Ukrainian president in a bilateral format, including problematic aspects of the gas talks between the two countries.
The subject of the one-on-one conversation between the Russian president and his French counterpart may be, among other things, the issue of the non-placing of medium- and shorter-range missiles in Europe. Earlier, Macron replied to Putin’s message, which contained a corresponding appeal, and expressed his readiness for a dialogue in this regard. In turn, Putin’s meeting with Merkel will be held against the background of expulsion of two Russian diplomats by Berlin in early December due to insufficient, in the opinion of the German side, cooperation of the Russian authorities in the case of murder of a citizen of Georgia in the capital of Germany this summer. According to Merkel herself, this case will not affect the summit in the “Normandy format”, but is an “event” in terms of bilateral relations with Russia.
The so-called Normandy format of negotiations on Ukraine (the Normandy quartet) has existed since June 2014. At that time, during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Allied landing in Normandy, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany discussed the settlement of the conflict in Donbas for the first time. The last meeting of the Quartet was held in October 2016. The interval between the summits was prolonged because Kyiv did not implement the agreements reached during the previous meetings of the leaders.Media: Pompeo to meet with Lavrov in Washington on December 10