17 January 2018, Wednesday, 22:40

Talks in Minsk held behind the closed doors


The EU - Ukraine - Eurasian Troika summit has started in Minsk.

Vladimir Putin has arrived to the Belarusian capital, but it is not known so far whether his bilateral meeting with Ukrainian president is to take place. It is one of the most expected events of the Minsk forum.

Before the beginning of the talks Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Alyaksandr Lukashenka were waiting for Petro Poroshenko for some time. When Ukraine’ president came, they shook him by the hand one after another.

The side of the EU in Minsk is represented by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton, EU Commissioner on Energy Günther Oettinger and the European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht.

Ukrainian president has called upon Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to support his peace plan of settling the situation in Donbas.

“I am convinced that this plan is relevant for today as well, and the only possible instrument to stop bloodshed and guaranteeing the post-conflict reconstruction of Donbas. In this connection I urge all participants of the today’s meeting to consider, and possibly adopt this plan as a basis for reconciling the situation in Donbas,” he said.

Petro Poroshenko stressed that he is ready to discuss different variants of solving the situation, which would allow returning the situation onto a peaceful track.

“I am absolutely convinced that it would be more productive to distance ourselves from artificial differences, from counting possible economic losses, and to focus on mechanisms of cooperation which would strengthen the potential inherent to integration processes,” he noted.

The Russian president called the format “Customs Union – Ukraine” with the participation of the EU countries a good opportunity to discuss Ukraine’s association with the EU and cooperation with the “Eurasian Troika.”

“Such a format – “Customs Union – Ukraine” with participation of the Eurasian economic commission and the EU offers a good opportunity to discuss the issues related to the consequences of the agreement on association with the EU signed by Ukraine in the context of its cooperation with the Customs Union’s states,” Putin said at the meeting.

Earlier bilateral meetings between some participants of the summit in Minsk have been held.

Photo: AFP