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In a bid to restore peace Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he hopes to meet with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany next month in Kazakhstan.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING:
"Regarding Astana, there is a preliminary agreement for the meting on the highest level with the participation of Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of France Francois Hollande, and your obedient servant. The meeting is likely to take place on January 15. And as I have already said, foreign ministers must create agenda and drafts of decisions."
He also says he has spoken with U.S. President Barack Obama about the possibility of him joining the talks.
Last week, Ukrainian authorities and separatists in the East exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war. It was a step towards a de-escalation of the conflict.
As for the upcoming meetings, Poroshenko says he would not compromise on sovereign