Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany to hold talks on eastern Ukraine, without US

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“Normandy format” talks without the United States are planned for Tuesday between political advisers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France on the subject of the eastern Ukraine, a source in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration said Saturday, according to Reuters.

The world is on edge as aggression mounts in the region. The four-way peace talks planned this week come during elevated tensions between Russia and the Western nations over Ukraine and are seeking a solution to the longrunning conflict between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Ukraine chief negotiator Andriy Yermak’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak had confirmed that a meeting in Paris was planned but told Reuters that a preliminary date had been set for Jan. 26 before the Jan. 25 meeting date was decided.

According to Reuters, “Western countries are concerned by a Russia military build-up on the border and have warned of severe economic consequences if it invades its neighbour. Russia denies it plans to invade Ukraine but is demanding legally binding security guarantees from the United States and NATO.”

“Relations between Russia and Ukraine collapsed in 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and Moscow-backed forces seized territory in the Donbass region that Kyiv wants back,” Reuters explains in the report.

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