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Putin stated he had reached agreement with Poroshenko on resumption of energy dialogue

Russian president did not discuss substantively terms for ceasefire in Ukraine's south-east

MINSK, August 27, /ITAR-TASS/. Putin stated at a news conference here early Wednesday that he had reached agreement with (Ukraine's President Pyotr) Poroshenko on a resumption of the energy dialogue between Russia and Ukraine.

"We believe, just as President Poroshenko, too, that it is essential to resume our dialogue on energy, including gas-related problems," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the close of the talks in Minsk

This matter is currently " in a deadlock", "but all the same it is necessary to discuss it", he added.

The Contact Group on Ukraine must resume its work as soon as possible, Russia's President Vladimir Putin stated after his meeting with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.

"It has been agreed that the Contact Group must resume its work as soon as possible," Putin said. He assured that Russia would do everything for that. "The process must be started as quickly as possible," Russia's Head of State emphasized.

About discussion of the agreement on EU association with Kiev

The trilateral working group comprising Russia, Ukraine, and the European Union by September 12, this year, will formulate proposals aimed at removing concerns aroused in the Customs Union countries over the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU by Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We had an opportunity once again to formulate our concerns, and we agreed that we would intensify the work of the trilateral working group consisting of Russia, Ukraine, and EU representatives and do our best before September 12 to formulate and present proposals relating to Russia's and Customs Union's concerns I spoke of", he related.

"We once again drew the attention of our partners both European and Ukrainian ones to the fact that the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU is fraught with considerable risks to the Russian economy," Putin pointed out. He said this concerns both the zeroing of tariffs by Ukraine, technical rules, and phytosanitary norms.

The President recalled that the UKriane-EU Association Agreement contained a clause about the introduction of European technical standards in Ukraine. He said this would actually signify that Russia would not be able to deliver its produce to Ukraine (engineering products, for example). Ukrainian agricultural producers, for their part, would not be able to supply their commodities (to Russia) owing to the difference in phytosanitary norms.

"In general, there arise many problems in this respect," the President summarized. "It is far from all arguments of ours that the counterparts agree. However, in any case, we have heard (their opinion) and agreed that we would intensify an exchange of views and seek to find if only some solutions," he added.

At the same time Putin warned that if no solution is found, Russia reserves the right to take protective measures in response. "If we do not reach any understandings and our concerns would not be taken into consideration, then we'd have to take measures to protect our economy," the President pointed out. He stressed, "Each country involved in the process has a right to make any decisions within the scope of its competence". "We shall treat with respect any choice by our European and Ukrainian partners. I hope that they will treat likewise our measures in protecting our markets,"he stated.

About humanitarian assistance to the East of Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine have reached certain understandings onthe rendering of humanitarian aid to Ukraine's eastern regions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We expressed concern about the humanitarian component," Putin said after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Pyotr Poroshenko. "However, President Poroshenko does no even deny the complexity of the humanitarian situation; it cannot be characterized otherwise than a disastrous one".

The Russian President said that together with Poroshenko they discussed the possibility of and the need for the rendering of humanitarian aid to Donetsk and Lugansk.

"We agreed that we shall maintain interaction on this track; I shall not jump ahead but we have available definite understandings on that score," Putin pointed out.

About ceasefire in Ukraine

Russian Рresident did not discuss substantively terms for ceasefire in Ukraine's south-east.

"We had no substantive discussion on that score," Putin said. "Frankly speaking, we may not speak of some ceasefire terms or possible understandings among Kiev, Donetsk, and Lugansk this is not our business. This is the issue to be settled by Ukraine itself".

According to the President, Russia can contribute to efforts to bring about an atmosphere of trust during a ceasefire negotiating process. "We spoke of where this is possible and of what Russia could do to ensure such a process. Russia did not put forward any terms. And we may not do that," the President pointed out. He emphasized that the peace process "is the matter to be tackled by Ukraine, Donetsk, and Lugansk".