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Russia and Ukraine leaders progress during private talks

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Russia and Ukraine leaders progress during private talks


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have made limited progress about resolving a row over Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.

Moscow cut off the gas flow to Ukraine in June over unpaid debts and a pricing disagreement.

Following the leaders’ private meeting in Milan, Poroshenko said: “First, all sides must firmly follow the Minsk memorandum and will concentrate efforts on how to implement all 12 points without exception.

“Second, the local elections which have to take place in Donetsk will be based only on the law signed yesterday.

“Third, we have made certain limited progress on the gas issue.”

Putin said that gas supplies would be restored to Ukraine.

He said he hoped Kyiv’s Western partners would help it overcome its cash deficit.

He also spoke about the crisis in Ukraine.

“There are important problems with the demarcation line. On this issue, I think we have made good progress. We have an agreement to use drones and modern techniques to determine where the attacks come from, if [and when] they happen,” said Putin.

On the gas supply issue, he added: “We have an agreement with our Ukrainian partners to restore gas delivery to Ukraine, at least for the winter period.”

Russia is Europe’s biggest energy supplier.

The EU had been worried that, with winter approaching, the gas crisis may have affected the bloc’s energy supplies.

European leaders said Moscow had to do much more to prop up a fragile ceasefire and end fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Euronews correspondent Simona Volta said: “In Milan, Russia and Ukraine tried to talk to each other. Once again Italy, Germany, France, UK and the European Institutions acted as intermediaries between the two presidents. But Putin and Poroshenko remained fixed in their positions.

“Now we’ll see what will happen in Brussels where, next Tuesday, Europe will bring the two countries to the negotiating table.”

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