TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_“We believe that such a meeting should take place and we agree that it can be held in Paris, as proposed by French President (Emmanuel) Macron,” senior Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said on Friday as quoted in a Reuters report.
Ushakov added that no specific date had yet been set for the summit, to attend which he said Moscow had three preconditions.
While underlining the need for the separation of rival armed forces on either side of the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, he also called for a consensus on the wording on a special status for the Donbass region, as well as a preliminary agreement on what the summit’s conclusions should be.
The development came as the Western backed Ukrainian government forces have been battling the pro-Russia independence fighters in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a bloody conflict that has so far left behind a death toll of more than 13,000 people. Sporadic clashes between the two side is still continuing despite a truce agreement.
Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last met in October 2016 to negotiate the implementation of a peace pact signed in the Belarus capital Minsk a year earlier, though it failed to achieve an enduring ceasefire.
Meanwhile, a recent prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine has revitalized optimism for improved ties between the neighboring countries.
Ushakov also described last week’s prisoner swap as “a very important action” that could bring about better relations between Moscow and Kiev. He further indicated that the Paris summit may take place sometime next month.
Moreover, Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy also stated earlier on Friday that he expects to meet his American counterpart, Donald Trump, later this month and that peace talks aimed at resolving the Donbass conflict would also take place this month.
This is while US Vice President Mike Pence tried to reassure Kiev earlier this month that Washington still supports Ukraine despite reports that Trump was contemplating plans to slash millions of dollars of military aid to the country.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with President Zelenskiy in Warsaw, Pence further said the Trump administration “will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine on your security, on territorial integrity, including Ukraine’s rightful claim in Crimea.”
The vice president, however, did not address reports that Trump was considering to cut $250 million in military assistance to Kiev, claiming that ties between Kiev and Washington has never been stronger.