Merkel and Putin / REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have had a phone call to discuss preparations for the Normandy summit and the course of negotiations on Russian gas transit via Ukraine.

"The conversation focused on preparation for a Normandy summit on eastern Ukraine," Germany's Deputy Government Spokesperson Ulrike Demmer said in a statement on Monday, November 11, following the phone call, which was initiated by Merkel.

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In addition, the two leaders touched on the issue of negotiations on future gas transit through Ukraine, as well as the situation in Libya and Syria.

The previous meeting of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in the so-called Normandy format took place in October 2016. The group takes its name from a meeting of the countries' leaders in Normandy, in western France, in 2014.