KIEV, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hopes that during his visit to Milan next week important agreements on the implementation of peace in southeastern Ukraine can be reached, the presidential press service said Monday.
"The Italian Prime Minister confirmed the invitation of the President of Ukraine to take part in the summit forum 'Asia-Europe' [ASEM] which is to be held October 16-17 in Milan. Poroshenko thanked [Prime Minister of Italy] Matteo Renzi for the invitation and said that Milan should become a city, where important agreements on the implementation of the peace plan can be reached," the press service stated after Poroshenko's telephone conversation with Renzi.
The Ukrainian president noted that the key priority for achieving peace in southeastern Ukraine is the control of the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Earlier, Kremlin said that during the 10th ASEM forum in Italy’s Milan Putin might meet with the leaders of Ukraine, Germany and France to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Established in 1996, the ASEM is an informal platform for international dialogue, bringing together a total of 48 European and Asian nations. The 10th ASEM summit will be chaired by the President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy in association with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
The armed conflict in Ukraine started in April, when Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in the southeastern regions of the country. On September 5, a ceasefire agreement was signed between the two conflicting sides during the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
On September 19, a memorandum, specifying the ceasefire, was drawn up by the Contact Group. The memorandum stipulated the creation of a 30-kilometer (18-mile) buffer zone, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from residential areas and the deployment of an OSCE monitoring mission in southeastern Ukraine.