This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
French President Emmanuel Macron says the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France will hold talks next month aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton announced he would visit Ukraine.
“We think that the conditions exist for a useful summit,” Macron said at the end of a Group of Seven (G7) summit in the southwestern French coastal resort of Biarritz.
Macron said the quadrilateral talks — known as the Normandy format — would be held in September, but did not give an exact date.
Ukraine has been locked in conflict with Russia-backed separatists in its east since Moscow forcibly annexed Crimea in 2014.
Macron has already met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and invited Russia’s Vladimir Putin to France for talks last week ahead of the G7 summit.
Russia was excluded from the club of the world’s most advanced economies after the annexation of Crimea.
Macron said after his meeting with Putin that there was a “real opportunity” for peace in Ukraine following Zelenskiy’s election.
Zelenskiy has offered to meet Putin in person for talks and has spoken to him by phone in recent weeks.
Moscow has said there is interest to renew peace discussions.
More than 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Ukraine’s east since April 2014. The European Union, the United States, and other countries have imposed sanctions on Russia due to its actions there.
An additional 1.5 million people have been internally displaced, the largest migration of people on the European continent since World War II.
Sixty-six Ukrainian soldiers were killed through July of this year, according to Censor.net, a Ukrainian news portal.
Meanwhile, U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton said he will travel to Kyivas Zelenskiy prepares for his first trip to Washington.
“I’m looking forward to my upcoming meetings with our partners in Kyiv. We support President Zelenskiy’s reform efforts and vision to create a stronger and more prosperous Ukraine,” he said in a tweet on August 26.