MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin is ready to hold constructive talks with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Ukraine, the Russian leader’s top foreign policy adviser said on Thursday.
Yuri Ushakov told reporters Russia hoped Merkel and Hollande would take into account measures proposed by Putin earlier in the crisis in any plan they present at the talks in Moscow on Friday. He said the meeting was “a positive step”.
“Tomorrow we are ready to talk in a constructive way, and count on achieving some agreements which would contribute to the overall stabilisation of the situation, the establishment of direct contacts between officials in Kiev and Donbass (in east Ukraine),” he said.
He added that a surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine had prompted the meeting.
Ushakov also said Putin had spoken to Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and invited him to visit Russia.
Moscow regretted efforts U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was visiting Kiev on Thursday, would not be visiting Moscow, Ushakov said.
Reporting by Lidia Kelly, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Timothy Heritage