Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine mull Feb 11 summit in Minsk

A man walks in a house destroyed after shelling in the Leninsky district of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Feb 8, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
A man walks in a house destroyed after shelling in the Leninsky district of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Feb 8, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP/Reuters) - A summit between France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine is being planned for Wednesday in Minsk in an effort to halt escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, Berlin said.

The leaders of the four countries held telephone talks on Sunday as part of efforts to try to achieve a "comprehensive settlement" of the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels, a statement from the German chancellor's office said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that he planned to meet if the sides moved closer to an agreement on implementing an unravelling 2014 peace deal for east Ukraine.

“Conversation with colleagues from Kiev, Berlin and Paris has just ended. We have agreed to try to organise a meeting of this same format in Minsk,” Putin said during a meeting with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi.

“We will aim (to meet on) Wednesday if by then we have managed to agree our positions, which we have been discussing very intensively in recent days,” Putin added.