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NATO Head Expected to Meet Ukraine's President on Sidelines of Munich Conference

© AFP 2021 / WOJTEK RADWANSKIUkraine's President Petro Poroshenko attends a joint press conference with the NATO Secretary General after a NATO Summit session on Ukraine during the second day of a NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland on July 9, 2016
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko attends a joint press conference with the NATO Secretary General after a NATO Summit session on Ukraine during the second day of a NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland on July 9, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference (MSC), local media reported on Wednesday.

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KIEV (Sputnik) — Poroshenko will meet with Stoltenberg on Saturday, media reported, citing a source familiar with the issue.

"The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference this Saturday," the source was quoted as saying by UNIAN news agency.

On Tuesday, Stoltenberg said he would meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the conference to discuss the situation in Ukraine, measures to prevent the growth of tension and improve understanding between the conflict sides.

The breakout of hostilities in eastern Ukraine began in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

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In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Since then, the ceasefire regime has been regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

The MSC is scheduled for February 17-19, with over 500 high-ranking politicians and experts from around the world expected to participate. This year's conference agenda focuses on the future of transatlantic relations and NATO after the election of US President Donald Trump, the state of European cooperation in security and defense matters, relations with Russia as well as the war in Syria, the security situation in the Asia-Pacific, and information warfare.

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