"I hope that this meeting will be successful and allow us to move forward," Ashton said.
The foreign policy chief stressed that aim of the multi-party talks is to help the Ukrainian people and assure them of their future security.
Speaking at a meeting of the presidents of the member countries of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and EU representatives, Ashton noted that the European Union recognizes the importance of solving problems and conflicts through political means.
Ashton added that the role of the European Union in the talks is to help the parties in the conflict agree upon a satisfactory resolution and expressed confidence that the Ukrainian people will eventually find their way to security, stability, economic growth and the establishment of good relations with their neighbors.
Last week, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting in Minsk is expected to address a number of urgent political and economic issues, including the Ukrainian crisis, humanitarian aid to the country’s troubled regions, the flow of refugees to Russia, and the possibility of an internal dialogue between Kiev and eastern Ukraine.
Poroshenko said he hopes the results of the August 26 consultations in Minsk are the first steps toward achieving peace in Ukraine.