Putin and Ukraine’s Zelensky set for Paris one-on-one: Kremlin

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky are likely to have a one-on-one meeting during four-way summit talks in Paris next month, the Kremlin said on Wednesday (Nov 27).

Putin and Zelensky plan to join French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Dec 9 for a summit aimed at resolving the five-year conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow-backed separatists have carved out breakaway statelets.

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Putin's top foreign adviser Yury Ushakov said Wednesday that a separate meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders was likely on the cards, too.

"It appears that a separate meeting will be held," Ushakov said, Russian news agencies reported, while adding that the programme of the summit was still being finalised.

A Ukrainian diplomatic source, when asked about the possibility of the one-on-one, told AFP: "We still don't know."

Speaking to reporters in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Zelensky said he was ready for meetings with every state leader present at the Paris summit, if necessary.

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The first meeting between Putin, 67, and Zelensky, 41, has been highly anticipated for months, after the Ukrainian former comedian came to power in May on the back of pledges to bring peace while regaining control of the breakaway regions.

The encounter would attempt to end a conflict which saw pro-Moscow separatists declare unrecognised bRead More – Source