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Putin to meet Poroshenko, Merkel, Hollande over Ukraine within ASEM summit

On Friday morning, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will give a breakfast for Presidents Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande, Petro Poroshenko, and Angela Merkel

MILAN, October 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his West European colleagues, as well as with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, over the situation in Ukraine on Friday, October 17, within the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit.

On Friday morning, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will give a breakfast for Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Francois Hollande of France, Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They might be joined by British Prime Minister David Cameron, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who will take over the post of the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said, “The breakfast is interesting by the fact that primarily, Ukraine will be discussed at it. The Russian president, (Angela) Merkel, (Francois) Hollande, (Petro) Poroshenko, (David) Cameron, as well as chairman of the EU Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso will attend the meeting.”

Apart from that, Putin plans to have bilateral meetings with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. This will be the first meeting of the presidents of both countries. Renzi took office in February 2014, Ushakov said.

Putin is expected to have a separate meeting with Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann. “I don’t rule out other contacts because representatives of other countries asked for a possibility to meet with Putin,” he added.

Putin is also planning to have talks with Cameron and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Ushakov said.

The ASEM forum will open on Friday morning. The summit has been convened every two years since 1996 as a forum for dialogue and co-operation between nations of Europe and Asia. This year’s summit is going to be a record-breaker in terms of participating heads of state and government - 51. It is expected that along issues of economic recession, efforts against traditional and new threats, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, energy security, sustainable development, the climate change, the environment, an inter-civilised dialogue and the promotion of cultural relations, the summiteers will address the problem of Ukraine. That country, which is not an ASEM member, will be represented by President Pyotr Poroshenko.

Putin will take part in the summit’s so-called “retreat” format session. “The session in which our president will participate is the most interesting,” Ushakov said. “The session’s theme is “Enhancing Dialogue and Co-operation between Europe and Asia and Future Direction of ASEM.” Short addresses are planned at it, and the Russian leader will also deliver a brief report. According to the Kremlin official, it is planned to discuss the situation in Asia and Europe, current security challenges, including terrorism, transnational crime and piracy.

“No documents are planned to be signed at the summit. The forum’s chairman (European Council President) Herman Van Rompuy will make a statement to summarise the discussions results,” Ushakov said.

The next ASEM summit will be held in Mongolia in 2016.