Newly-appointed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi promised in the electoral movement to make peace. Small signs of thawing of Russian-Ukrainian relations have been discernible lately.hopes
A prisoner exchange in September aroused hopes and as late as last month, the Russian president described his colleague on the other side of the border as a "sympathetic" leader. Russia has returned Ukrainian warships.
Recently, both sides have withdrawn along several of the front lines, which was the condition for the peace talks.
Expectations for the Paris meeting are therefore high, with the long-term goal of finding a solution to the five-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine.Macron wants progress
France's President Macron will host the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Macron hopes that the talks in Paris will make it possible to take several steps towards the implementation of the Minsk Agreement. It was negotiated in 2015 to end the fighting, but neither party has lived up to the terms of the plan.
The EU imposed sanctions on Russia since the country in violation of international law annexed the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea in the spring of 2014."Basic conflict not close solution"
SVT News Moscow correspondent Bert Sundström is in Paris to follow the talks. He believes that the parties will at best be able to agree on a ceasefire and more prison exchanges.
- The basic conflict over Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea will not be resolved yet, says Bert Sundström.War expensive for Russia
The war in eastern Ukraine is costly for Russia. The President of Ukraine has demanded that Crimea be returned to Ukraine. But that will not happen, believes SVT News Russia correspondent Bert Sundström:
"On the important question of Crimea, Russia will never back down," he says.
13,000 casualties have been required during the five-year war.