MILAN, October 16 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova - Finland welcomes the "diplomacy in person" between Russia and Ukraine but is not very hopeful about the results it may bring, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said answering a RIA Novosti question on Thursday.
"The good news is that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko continue frantic phone diplomacy and now diplomacy in person here in Milan. Hopefully, this will be a step forward, but I'm not extremely hopeful," Stubb said on the sidelines of the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Milan, Italy.
"The bad news is that the ceasefire [in eastern Ukraine] does not seem to hold, because we have 300 deaths. The peace plan does not seem to be advancing, because the borders are not controlled by Ukraine," he added.
The prime minister noted, however, that he expected a slow advance in the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, with the next step after the Milan meeting being the elections in Ukraine.
The heads of 29 European countries and 22 Asian partners will attend the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit that will take place in Milan, Italy, from October 16 to 17. The main topic of the summit hosted by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is partnership for sustainable growth and security in the world.