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World leaders speak after Ukraine peace talks uniting Zelensky, Putin in Paris

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a summit on the conflict in Ukraine at the Élysée Palace on December 9, 2019.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a summit on the conflict in Ukraine at the Élysée Palace on December 9, 2019. Ian Langsdon/Pool via REUTERS
2 min

For the first first time ever, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for peace talks at the Élysée Palace on Monday. The talks were hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron with German Chancellor Angela Merkel also in attendance.

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday met Ukranian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time on Monday at a Paris summit aimed at agreeing measures to help end five years of conflict in the east of Ukraine.

No comprehensive peace deal is expected from the meeting, mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but diplomats hope the summit will help to build trust between the two men.

Four-way talks at the Élysée Palace were followed by the first-ever bilateral meeting between ex-KGB agent Putin – in power for two decades – and ex-comedian Zelensky, who won the presidency this year, Ukrainian and Russian presidential sources said. 

The four leaders were due to meet again over dinner, before a joint news conference. 

"The leaders have been discussing the draft statement and each clause is being discussed in a lively way," said Zelensky's deputy chief of staff, Kyrylo Tymoshenko. 

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

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