MOSCOW (Reuters) - A summit between France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine to try to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine is possible this year but no date has been agreed, a Kremlin aide said on Sunday.
France said on Friday that the so-called Normandy summit will take place in Paris on Dec. 9, but Moscow has not confirmed either the plans or the date.
“I think there will be a chance to organise (the summit) this year. I can’t say the exact date, because it is still under discussion, but, obviously, this year,” Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told a news show on local TV network Russia-1.
If it happens, the Normandy summit, named after a meeting in the northwestern French region of the leaders of the four countries in 2014, will take place following a breakthrough in relations between Russia and Ukraine.
Moscow and Kiev exchanged prisoners in September and this month Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed rebels began withdrawing from a village in the disputed Donbass region.
Russia began moving three captured Ukrainian navy ships on Sunday, Reuters reported, after a Russian newspaper said Moscow would return them to Ukraine ahead of a summit.
The summit plans are not directly tied to legislation giving Donbass a special status, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during the same Sunday news show, Interfax reported.
Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin, editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith