A high-profile meeting between leaders of Russia, Germany, and France on the crisis in eastern Ukraine has seen "constructive" negotiations, officials in Moscow say.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that the talks in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande have been "constructive".
The talks were “constructive, informative and substantive,” Peskov said after the five-hour meeting ended at the Kremlin late Friday.
Peskov also said that the leaders have agreed on elaborating a joint document on how to implement the Minsk protocol, a truce deal signed in September which has been repeatedly violated by the warring sides of the Ukrainian conflict.
“On the basis of proposals made by the French president and German chancellor, there is currently ongoing joint work to prepare the text of a possible joint document on the implementation of the Minsk agreements – a document that would include proposals made by Ukrainian President Poroshenko and proposals put forward today by Russian President Putin,” Peskov said.
The Russian official said that the final document will be submitted to both the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian forces that are battling each other in eastern Ukraine.
Sources in France and Germany have also welcomed the results of the much-anticipated negotiations as positive and meaningful. According to the latest reports, Merkel and Hollande have departed Moscow for their capitals.
However, much remains to be known from the lengthy talks on Friday as journalists were given only 30 seconds to take pictures of the three influential leaders who sat face-to-face in Kremlin and discussed the complicated issue in secrecy.
International efforts to forge a truce in eastern Ukraine have failed so far with Western governments accusing Russia of supporting the armed militancy against the Ukrainian government. Moscow denies the charges, saying Kiev must stop the suppression of the ethnic Russian population in the area.
Russia has already been hit by several rounds of Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine, although the restrictive measures have backfired on the economy of the European countries.