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Several ASEM participants reluctant to understand events in south-east Ukraine — Peskov

October 17, 2014, 12:59 UTC+3

The discussion on the Ukrainian issue will be continued in the “Normandy format,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov says

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Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

MILAN, October 17. /TASS/. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he regrets that several foreign leaders participating in the Asia-Europe Meeting summit on Friday are absolutely unwilling to understand current events in south-eastern Ukraine.

“We note with regret that several summiteers are absolutely unwilling to understand the real situation in south-east Ukraine,” Peskov told reporters.

He refused to name concrete foreign leaders who had taken an inflexible position over the Ukrainian issue. “Several summiteers showed absolute unwillingness even to try to be objective,” the presidential spokesman said, noting that their positions were “biased and inflexible.”

Normandy format

The discussion on the Ukrainian issue will be continued in the “Normandy format,” Peskov added.

The so-called Normandy format envisages talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

There has been no bilateral meeting of Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko yet, but Peskov told reporters that he did not rule the possibility. The Russian president was planned to have a series of bilateral meetings during the day, Peskov said.

The topic of sanctions against Russia has not been on the agenda of the breakfast of European leaders at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on Friday, Peskov said.

The press secretary said the leaders exchanged views on a wide range issues connected with implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The negotiations on the Ukrainian crisis settlement on the sidelines of the ASEM summit are uneasy and “full of contradictions,” Peskov noted. “The negotiations are really difficult, full of contradictions and misunderstanding. Despite this, they are useful as the parties are exchanging views,” he added.

Ukraine gas issue discussed at the summit

Dmitry Peskov said Vladimir Putin, Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller will continue discussing gas issues at the meetings during the summit.

“They have already discussed gas, but the dialogue will continue including on the sidelines of the summit,” Peskov told reporters in Italian city of Milan.

The Russian delegates together with their European partners are expected to “increase contacts on gas issues until the end of the day,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday evening in Milan, dwelling in detail about gas problems over Ukraine and describing the situation “literally with a pen on paper,” Peskov told reporters.

“Yesterday Putin told Merkel in detail about gas affairs (between Russia and Ukraine),” Peskov said.

The presidential spokesman cited the situation over coal delivery in relations between Ukraine and Poland as an example of gas talks.

“We want to recall yesterday’s news reports from Poland as an example of these gas affairs. How actively our Polish partners reacted when they learnt that Ukrainians want to receive Polish coal actually for free. Probably this is the brightest illustration of what happens in the gas sphere. They [Poles] were impressed and they even did not conceal their shock, but at the same time all of them understand perfectly well a desire to receive gas for free,” Peskov noted.

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