Denmark uses Russian data in its application for expanding shelf — ministerBusiness & Economy January 21, 15:15
Agreement on bases in Syria to serve strengthening of stability in Middle East — MPRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 20, 21:18
Trump's inaugural address: When America is united, America is totally unstoppableWorld January 20, 20:57
Hermitage chief: New Palmyra destruction comes across as militants' vengeanceRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 20, 20:29
Russia's first deputy PM wants to keep current tax system for next political cycleBusiness & Economy January 20, 19:53
Russia’s Shipulin clinches gold in 20km individual race of IBU World Cup stage in ItalySport January 20, 19:18
Prominent Russian adventurer Konyukhov to take samples from Mariana Trench floorSociety & Culture January 20, 19:15
Gazprom CEO says North Stream-2 pipeline proves relevanceBusiness & Economy January 20, 19:10
More survivors found in avalanche-hit Italian hotel — mediaWorld January 20, 18:48
European Commission officials are also expected to attend the meeting.
In addition, Putin is expected to have a range of separate talks in Minsk. His press secretary Dmitry Peskov did not rule out that Putin might also have a separate meeting with Poroshenko.
“There are many topics for discussion,” he said. “Their scope includes Ukraine’s internal crisis, the horrendous humanitarian disaster in the east of the country, and the importance of a ceasefire.”
“This sphere contains a very strong energy aspect,” he added when a reporter asked him if supplies of Russian natural gas to Ukraine might be taken up.
If Putin and Poroshenko hold a separate meeting, it will become the first-ever summit between these two Presidents. They had a brief rendezvous in Normandy in June but it lasted a mere ten minutes and resembled a conversation on the run, with Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande participating in it, too.
Speaking of the meetings in Minsk, Peskov said that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine would be taken up at the general meeting and in the Customs Union - Ukraine format, too.
“It’s clear as daylight that the disastrous situation in the eastern areas of Ukraine and especially in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions cannot be left unattended,” Peskov said. “Still the main theme on the agenda is the relations between the Customs Union and Ukraine after the signing of the AA.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday it was important to use the Minsk format for settling the situation in the southeast of Ukraine.
“We are prepared for any format, just let it produce results,” Lavrov said.
Petro Poroshenko said on the eve of the visit he planned to agree on peace at the meeting in Minsk. His press service quoted him saying that he was going to Minsk “together with a team” of three powerful representatives of the European Union “to talk peace.”
“The people of Ukraine and I myself have firm trust in the importance of activating Ukraine’s peace plan,” he said.
As for the European Commission, its President Jose Manuel Barroso is not coming to Minsk as he is leaving for Vietnam on a visit that was scheduled long ago.
Baroness Ashton said Sunday that the Minsk meeting between Putin and Poroshenko offered a nice opportunity to untangle the Ukrainian crisis and it was not to be missed.
She also expressed the opinion on importance for Ukraine to have good relations with the EU member-states and Russia likewise. The Ukrainian people had elected a president and a path to follow and it stood in need of good relations with its European neighbors and Russia.
A spokesperson for the Commission said resumption of talks on the purchases of Russian gas by Ukraine might also be a subject of negotiations in Minsk.