Russia confirms Putin to take part in Ukrainian peace summit in Paris

Agencies Moscow, Russia Nov 18, 2019, 04.23 PM(IST)

File photo: Russia's President Vladimir Putin.  Photograph:( Others )

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The French presidency said on Friday that the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine would take part. But until Monday the Kremlin had failed to publicly confirm its attendance.

The Kremlin confirmed on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would take part in a four-way international summit in Paris on December 9, an attempt to advance efforts for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The French presidency said on Friday that the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine would take part. But until Monday the Kremlin had failed to publicly confirm its attendance.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that Putin would attend, but declined to discuss what Moscow's expectations for the event were.

Meanwhile, Russian news agencies in Sunday announced that Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev.

A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait towards the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been pushing for their return as a goodwill gesture from Moscow ahead of a possible four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month.

More than 13,000 people have been killed in the more than five-year-old conflict in east Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.

Relations between Ukraine and Russia collapsed following Moscow`s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, which prompted Western sanctions. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy won a landslide election victory in April promising to end the conflict.