Support The Moscow Times!

‘No Miracle, But We’ve Advanced’: Russia-Ukraine Peace Summit Results

“It’s still a draw,” Zelenskiy was quoted as saying when asked which side emerged with a victory after the latest talks. The four leaders plan to meet again in four months.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy held their first face-to-face meeting Monday at a four-way summit in Paris with the French and German leaders as mediators.

The last time the so-called Normandy summit met to work out a deal to end the conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine was in 2016. 

“It’s still a draw,” Zelenskiy was quoted as saying when asked which side emerged with a victory after the latest talks. The four leaders plan to meet again in four months.

Here’s a look at what the sides have agreed on at the marathon bilateral and four-way talks:

Prisoner exchange

— Putin, Zelenskiy and the French and German leaders agreed to push for an "all for all" prisoner exchange by the end of the year, according to a joint communique.

— Zelenskiy said he expects 72 Ukrainian prisoners to return home in an all-for-all swap as soon as Dec. 24.


— Putin and Zelenskiy agreed to commit to a full and comprehensive implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before the end of 2019, according to the communique.

— The sides have agreed on a troop withdrawal from three lines of contact by March 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying.

— Zelenskiy and Putin differed on what steps should be taken to restore Ukraine’s control of its Russian border. Putin insists that the separatist regions hold local elections first, while Zelenskiy says Ukraine needs to regain control of the border first.

Gas transit

Zelenskiy said Ukraine and Russia had "unblocked" the issue of gas transit and the countries' advisers would work on the details of an agreement.

He said Kiev and Moscow could reach an agreement on a new gas transit deal before the end of the year, and saw scope for compromise between their respective demands.

  Zelenskiy said that they had taken the option of a one-year deal off the table and that he asked for a 10-year deal.

What they said

"Now we need to carry on working very, very hard, there is no question about that, but there is momentum again, movement," Merkel told a joint news conference.  

"We have a lot of work to do but my feeling from this meeting here today is that there is goodwill to resolve difficult questions," Merkel said.

— "We saw the differences today. We didn't find the miracle solution, but we have advanced on it," French President Emmanuel Macron said at the news conference. 

"We know there are disagreements on the calendar and phasing and we had a long discussion on it, but we said let's give ourselves four months," Macron said. 

"I think we will find something in the middle," Zelenskiy said in televised comments. 

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more