French President Francois Hollande (Photo by AFP)
French President Francois Hollande has called for a detailed road map for the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict.
Hollande's office issued a statement on Thursday, calling on all parties involved in the Ukrainian conflict to put efforts in drawing up a road map for peace.
The statement said the aim of such a road map would be to clearly set out the steps required for "the reestablishment of Ukraine's control of its border with Russia.”
The call came after Hollande held telephone talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Also on Wednesday, the French president spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling on them to participate in an initiative aimed at organizing a summit on the Ukrainian conflict.
The Kremlin said on Thursday that it still sees a chance of holding a "Normandy format" summit on the Ukraine conflict in the German capital of Berlin on October 19.
"Meetings of experts will be held, and a pretty serious discussion will take place. If these expert meetings end with a positive result, there will appear such a chance (for the summit)," Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told a conference call with reporters.
The so-called Normandy Four, which consists of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, have met periodically since June 2014 seeking to resolve the crisis in Ukraine’s eastern regions.
(From L) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pose for a group photo prior to their meeting in the so-called Normandy Four format on the situation in Ukraine, at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris on March 3, 2016. (Photo by AFP) 
This comes as Germany has played down the prospect of a summit on Ukraine, with Merkel’s spokesman saying further work was needed by advisers before any meeting was possible.
France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are parties to a peace agreement signed in the Belarusian capital of Mink in February 2015. The deal was expected to put an end to months of violence in eastern parts of Ukraine, which has claimed the lives of more than 6,500. Hostilities largely subsided through the deal but sporadic clashes continued between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces, leading to a further 3,000 life losses.
Kiev blames the prolonged conflict on Moscow, saying Russia still supports the separatists. Russia denies any direct involvement, but says it will continue to support the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine’s east against the suppression of the government.

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