MINSK, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has arrived in the Belarusian capital of Minsk for multi-party talks on resolving the crisis in Ukraine’s east, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Tuesday.
Poroshenko is to hold talks with the presidents of the members of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, Alexander Lukashenko, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin, respectively, as well as European Union representatives.
Poroshenko’s press service stated that the meeting is to address a number of political and economic issues, including Ukraine’s integration into the European Union and the stabilization of the situation in the troubled east of the country.
Poroshenko’s deputy chief of staff, Valeriy Chaly, said the meeting is an opportunity to peacefully resolve the Ukrainian crisis, suggesting the summit could help the participants begin to develop a real road map to ending the war.
Earlier, President Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the topics to be discussed during the meeting in Minsk might include the crisis in Ukraine, humanitarian aid to the country’s eastern regions, the flow of refugees to Russia, and the possibility of an internal dialogue between Kiev and eastern Ukraine.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, who will also be attending the Minsk talks, said she would stress the importance of the Ukrainian government maintaining good relations with both EU member states and Russia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed doubt about the meeting being fruitful concerning Russia-Ukraine relations, but recognized the importance of the meeting, nonetheless.