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EC does not rule out European leaders will meet Putin at ASEM summit — spokesperson

October 10, 2014, 18:30 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
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BRUSSELS, October 10. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) does rule out that leaders of the EU countries will hold bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) that will take place in Milan on October 16-17, the EC spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said on Friday.

Earlier, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that Putin could meet with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s President Francois Hollande at the ASEM summit. “Next week, the Russian president will go to Italy for the Asia-Europe Meeting. There are plans for meetings with Western partners. The Ukrainian issue will be in focus,” he said.

The Kremlin staff is currently working on this and considering likely contacts. “A meeting in the Normandy format — Putin, Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko — is not ruled out,” Ushakov said.

He said that heads of state and government from Germany, France, the United Kingdom and officials from the European Commission are expected at the summit. But at the same time, Ushakov said he could not name Putin’s interlocutors, although a meeting with Italy’s new prime minister is not excluded.

Putin received an official invitation to participate in the ASEM meeting, the aide said.

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