The most anticipated meeting of the Asia-Europe summit (ASEM) in Milan will take place on Friday when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko will sit down for talks.
It is a positive sign for Moscow, Kyiv and Brussels who hope to reach a deal on disputes over unpaid gas bills and the much violated ceasefire agreed in Minsk on September 5th, as well as other unresolved issues.
“The main topics are peace, compliance with the Minsk protocol and Minsk Memorandum, the ceasefire, the withdrawal of troops, the elections, recognition of Ukraine sovereignty over all territory. Moreover to solve the energy question,” explained Poroshenko ahead of the talks.
More than 3,600 have died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and EU-US sanctions on Russia as well as the Russian embargo on EU foodstuffs weigh heavily on the respective economies. The stakes are high for a resolution as euronews correspondent Simona Volta in Milan explains:
“The ASEM summit could very well be the right arena to solve the crisis between Russia and Ukraine in a diplomatic way. Europe will try to mediate. With winter on its way, the EU doesn’t want to find itself in the middle of a bitter battle for gas.”