French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Markel held urgent and speedily-arranged talks in Ukraine's capital Kiev on Thursday, raising hopes of peace in the country.
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has said that the peace plan proposed by the two European countries will be presented to Moscow on Friday – a development that has raised hopes of an end to the fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Kiev's troops in the east of the country.
The two leaders will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday.
Talks between Poroshenko and his German and French counterparts have given the country "hopes for a ceasefire", the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement.
Earlier, the president also thanked Merkel and Hollande for their visit – which appears to have been planned suddenly – at "a very urgent time".
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in Kiev on Thursday, has said that Washington is gearing towards a diplomatic solution for the crisis in Ukraine, while warning the US will not turn a blind towards "Russia aggression", BBC reports.
The German and French leaders have made no public statement after Thursday's meeting, although Hollande said ahead of the talks that the proposal was based on the "territorial integrity" of Ukraine and that it would be "acceptable to all."
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that leaders of Russia, Germany and France will "discuss what specifically the countries can do to contribute to speedy end of the civil war in the southeast of Ukraine, which has escalated in recent days and resulted in many casualties."
The development also comes as the United States is considering arming Ukrainian forces in the face of growing conflict in the region.