17:05 Oct. 18, 2016
Kremlin confirms participation of Russian president in Normandy Four summit, Poroshenko is not optimistic
Russian President Vladimir Putin will join leaders of Ukraine, France and Germany for the four-way talks on peace in eastern Ukraine.
After a long period of uncertainty over the upcoming summit, the Kremlin has confirmed that Putin will attend the summit in Berlin at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"Tomorrow the president will go to Berlin where he will hold talks with Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The Kremlin has earlier repeatedly declined to confirm Putin's participation in the meeting on the crisis in Ukraine.
Last week, the Russian leader cancelled a visit to France also scheduled for Wednesday after Hollande said the Kremlin's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was unacceptable and that people in Aleppo were suffering "war crimes."
Meanwhile, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said he was not optimistic about a meeting with Russian counterpart on October 19:
"For the tomorrow meeting, let's not have very high expectations," Poroshenko told reporters in Oslo. "Yes, I am very optimistic about the future of Ukraine but unfortunately not so much about tomorrow's meeting, but I would be very happy to be surprised".
The Berlin summit aims "to evaluate the implementation of the Minsk peace accords and to discuss further steps," according to Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert.
Minsk peace deal, brokered by the European leaders in February 2015, failed to stop the violence in Ukraine's Donbas.