Tags: Ukraine | EU | Russia | Putin

Putin to Focus on Ukraine During Trip to Milan

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 07:15 AM

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a series of meetings with Western leaders focusing on Ukraine during his trip to Italy, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

Attending this week's Europe-Asia summit in Milan offers Putin the first chance to discuss the Ukrainian crisis with Western leaders since his trip to France in June to attend the D-Day anniversary.

The U.S. and the European Union have imposed a series of economic sanctions against Moscow over its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine. High-level contacts have been sharply curtailed amid the worst Russia-West crisis since the Cold War, and Putin hasn't traveled to Europe since a brief visit to Vienna in late June.

Presidential foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said that Putin will meet Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and attend a dinner involving other leaders.

On Friday, Putin will have breakfast with the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Ukraine and the European Union that will focus on Ukraine. A separate meeting involving Putin and the leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine is also being considered.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that he's pinning big hopes on the meetings in Milan. He spoke with Putin over the phone Tuesday to discuss preparations for the talks.

In an apparent show of goodwill before the trip to Milan, Putin over the weekend ordered 17,600 Russian troops to pull back from the areas near the border with Ukraine and return to their home bases.

Ukraine and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of fueling the insurgency with weapons and fighters, allegations Moscow has rejected.

Hostilities in eastern Ukraine have abated following last month's cease-fire deal, but clashes still raged in a few areas. Late last month, Merkel said that the EU still wasn't considering removing the sanctions because of ongoing fighting.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a series of meetings with Western leaders focusing on Ukraine during his trip to Italy, the Kremlin said Wednesday.Attending this week's Europe-Asia summit in Milan offers Putin the first chance to discuss the Ukrainian...
EU, Russia, Putin
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2014-15-15
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 07:15 AM
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