Putin to meet Ukraine’s president


putinRussian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko  to discuss the eastern Ukraine crisis.

The dialogue will be held on the sidelines of the ongoing Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan, BBC reported.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will also be present at the meeting.

Poroshenko met Merkel Thursday where they discussed on a peace plan agreed last month between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian rebels in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

The plan also include the withdrawal of heavy weaponry 15 km by each side from the line of contact and the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from the conflict zone.

Putin had ordered the withdrawal of nearly 18,000 Russian troops stationed near the Ukrainian border.

However, NATO said it has seen no sign of any major Russian pullback.

The Russian president Thursday is also expected to discuss Russian gas supplies to Europe. Most of the gas is delivered via Ukraine.

Putin has warned that Europe faced “major transit risks” unless Ukraine settled its gas row with Moscow.

Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine in the summer, accusing Kiev of failing to pay its debts. Ukraine said that the price set by Moscow is unfair.

The ASEM summit will continue till Saturday.

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