ASTANA – Presidents of Kazakhstan and Ukraine Nursultan Nazarbayev and Petro Poroshenko spoke on the phone on Jan. 15 to discuss current situation in Ukraine and a possibility of holding an Astana summit on the settlement of the conflict in the eastern part of that country in the Normandy Four format “at the end of January.”
According to the announcement from the Akorda presidential residence, Poroshenko confirmed his commitment to holding the summit in Astana which he first announced for Jan. 15 during his end-of-year press conference on Dec. 29.
According to the Akorda, Poroshenko also said that “in the near future the ministers of foreign affairs of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine will meet in the Normandy Four format as will the contact group on the crisis in eastern Ukraine where a draft document for discussions in the Kazakh capital will be worked on.”
“During the conversation, it was noted that a meeting of leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in Astana is envisioned to be held at the end of January,” the Akorda press service further said.
Following the initial announcement by Poroshenko of a possible summit in mid-January, there has been a flurry of diplomatic meetings at various levels as leaders and officials sought to clarify if the high level meeting was to produce any meaningful result in bringing an end to the months-long conflict in eastern Ukraine which claimed 4,700 lives and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. There has also been another spike in violence and renewed fighting there in recent days leading to more deaths among civilians.