MOSCOW (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday, the Kremlin said on Saturday.
A Kremlin spokeswoman gave no further details. But Russia’s Rossiya-24 state television said Putin and Hollande planned to discuss Ukraine and France’s decision to suspend indefinitely the delivery of the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Moscow because of the crisis in Ukraine.
Russian news agencies said Hollande would make the visit on his way back to France after a trip to Kazakhstan where he suggested that he, Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel should “start the process of reducing tension” together. He gave no details.
At a news conference in Kazakhstan capital Astana, Hollande urged Putin to look to the future rather than the past to help ease tension over the Ukraine crisis.
Putin on Thursday evoked the lessons of history to shift the blame for many of Russia’s problems on to the West, accusing “enemies of yesterday” of trying to bring a new Iron Curtain down around Russia.
More than 4,300 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since the separatist rebellions erupted there in April, soon after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine following the overthrow of a Moscow-backed president.
Reporting by Timothy Heritage and Katya Golubkova; editing by Susan Thomas