France to host Russia, Germany, Ukraine for Summit on Ukraine conflict

PARIS, France will host leaders of Russia, Germany and Ukraine for a four-way summit to seek an end to the lingering conflict in East Ukraine, where 13,000 people have died in fighting since 2014, the French Presidency said on Friday.

The Summit will take place on December 9 at the Elysee Palace and will include President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

France, backed by Germany, was the driving force in setting up the “Normandy Format” which comprises the four participating nations and which has had some success in getting punctual cease-fires, prisoner exchanges and the withdrawal of some heavy weapons from the frontier zone between Ukraine and Russia.

The conflict erupted in 2014 when ethnic Russia residents of East Ukraine took up arms to counter what they said was anti-Russian discrimination in the region.

Russia has militarily backed the ethnic Russian groups which are in a stand-off against the Ukrainian army for the past five years.

Source: Kuwait News Agency