The much-anticipated talks in the Kremlin were held in a ‘face-to-face’ format behind closed doors.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated the negotiations were ‘constructive' and the leaders have agreed to cooperate to elaborate a joint document on the implementation of the Minsk agreements in Ukraine, which will include proposals by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, as well as proposals formulated during the Moscow talks and by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Peskov added that all sides will hold talks by phone on Sunday, involving Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the leaders of France and Germany.
“The work will continue, the preliminary results will be summed up on Sunday during the telephone conversation, which will be held in the Normandy format,” and will involve Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the leaders of France and Germany, Peskov told reporters.
Before travelling to Moscow, Merkel and Hollande held talks with Poroshenko in Kiev on Thursday, discussing their proposals for a peaceful settlement of the crisis.
Despite the Minsk agreements concluded in September between Kiev forces and independence supporters, the clashes between the warring sides intensified in the first several weeks of this year.
In late January, the Contact Group on Ukraine held another round of talks in Minsk in an attempt to revive the peace process. However, those negotiations failed to yield results.
According to the UN estimates, over 5,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the standoff in April 2014.