French and German foreign ministers to visit Ukraine for talks | Nation

BERLIN — French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday he would visit Ukraine with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock as part of efforts to defuse the conflict with Russia.

The two top diplomats will visit the country on February 7 and 8, Le Drian wrote on Twitter.

The Foreign Office in Berlin confirmed that Baerbock would visit Kyiv “soon” but did not give an exact date.

“We are continuing our efforts in N4 format for de-escalation,” Baerbock wrote in a response to his French colleague’s tweet. She was referring to the Normandy format, which brings together Russia and Ukraine for talks with the mediation of Germany and France.

The quadripartite constellation met for the last time on Wednesday to discuss the Ukraine conflict. The talks lasted more than eight hours but did not lead to any concrete results.

Kyiv and Moscow, however, said they both support unconditional respect for the ceasefire, according to a statement released by the Elysee.

The representatives are to hold a follow-up meeting in Berlin at an unknown date.

A massive deployment of Russian troops near Ukraine has fueled fears in the West that the Kremlin is planning an invasion of its neighbor – which Moscow denies.

Some observers say the troop boost is aimed at stoking fears in order to persuade NATO to make concessions on new security guarantees.

Efforts to defuse the conflict have been ongoing for weeks.

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