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KIEV, September 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says preparations are underway for another meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Within three weeks, there will be a meeting with Putin in the multilateral format,” Poroshenko told a news conference on the country’s development up to 2020. “There are preliminary agreements to this effect. Everything will depend on progress in the implementation of the peace plan. The format will also depend on the circumstances," he said.
Last time the two leaders met was in the Belarussian capital Minsk on August 26 on the sidelines of the summit conference of the Customs Union, the European Union and Ukraine in connection with the Kiev’s plans for ratifying the association agreement with the European Union.
Putin and Poroshenko then had more than two hours of talks in private. A week later Putin presented a seven-point peace plan, which later formed the basis of resolutions adopted by the Contact Group for Ukraine to start the peace process in the southeast of Ukraine.
Asked about the general nature of relations with Russia and contacts with Russian officials Poroshenko said that the chiefs of the presidential staffs contact each other every other day.
“When political intervention is necessary, the chief of our staff phones the Russian presidential staff,” he said. In most cases this is very effective. If ceasefire depends on phone calls, we shall be making them.”
Poroshenko expressed certainty that “Russia’s relations to the events in Ukraine is changing.
The meetings of the Contact Group on Ukraine could be later held in Donetsk after the ceasefire plan is fully implemented, Poroshenko added. “I do not rule out that the activity of the trilateral Contact Group could be moved to Donetsk after it is confirmed that the ceasefire plan is fully implemented,” the Ukrainian leader said.
Poroshenko said there is no legal act that grants Donbass a special status. He described the current political process in Ukraine as decentralization of power.
“There is no law on a special status for Donbass on the agenda. There is a law on the special rules of local self-government. The region’s separation from Ukraine cannot be on the agenda. A decentralization process is underway. It is starting all over the country,” Poroshenko said.
Poroshenko said he would provide $1 billion for the restoration of Donbass. “Restoration will be carried out through a special state budget fund and a special non-state fund,” Poroshenko said at a news conference in Kiev.
At the OSCE-mediated meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5, Kiev and self-defense militia reached an agreement on a ceasefire and exchange of prisoners.
A group of inspectors from Russia and OSCE is due to arrive in Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, on Thursday to control the implementation of ceasefire regime, Poroshenko said. “Today, the inspectors from Russia and the OSCE are coming to Kharkiv. They will launch the mission in Debaltseve and monitor the implementation of the ceasefire regime,” Poroshenko said.
On September 20, the Contact Group in Minsk adopted a memorandum on the ceasefire implementation. Under the pact, Ukrainian troops and militias must each pull back their heavy weaponry 15 kilometers from the frontline to form a 30-kilometer buffer zone.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to control the implementation of the memorandum.