Late night talks at the summit in Minsk have at least pulled Moscow and Kyiv into one frame of mind – that the bloodshed in Ukraine must stop!
After tough and complex discussions and with the backing of the EU’s foreign policy chief, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has promised to work on an urgent ceasefire plan.
“An agreement has been reached involving the immediate creation of a three-sided contact group. I’m hopeful we could see the release very soon of those hostages who’re being illegally held now,” said President Poroshenko.
President Vladimir Putin may have encouraged his counterpart to come up with a road map for a truce but he’s stressed it’s not up to Russia to get involved. It’s for Kyiv to work it out with Ukraine’s separatist rebels.
“We have talked about the need to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible, about the need to move towards a political settlement of the whole range of problems that Ukraine faces in the southeast of the country. On our side, Russia will do everything to help this peace process – if it starts, and we believe it should be started immediately,” Putin told journalists.
So far the only concrete success of Minsk is that for the first time since June Putin and Poroshenko have at least talked face to face.
Euronews reporter Angelina Kariakina who was in the Belarussian capital was cautious about what was achieved:
“Complicated and long negotiations in Minsk didn’t bring any ready-made solutions on the situation in Ukraine. However, they may have started a series of talks between Kyiv and Moscow which could take place very soon.”