Russia says to attend Ukraine talks if Paris, Berlin think it's useful

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answers reporters questions after his bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the APEC Ministers Summit in Lima, Peru November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Ralston/Pool

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday he was willing to attend four-way talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine if mediators Germany and France believe the meeting can be useful.

On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Paris and Berlin had invited the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia to attend the so-called Normandy Format talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Nov. 29.

“There remains a fairly serious risk that this could turn out to be a meeting for the sake of meeting,” Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow, according to a foreign ministry transcript.

“Nevertheless, if my other colleagues in the Normandy Format are willing to take such a risk, then we will go to the meeting on Nov. 29.”

Reporting by Christian Lowe; editing by Polina Devitt