Russia and Ukraine said on Tuesday their presidents would meet together with top European Union officials in Belarus’s capital of Minsk on August 26 to discuss their confrontation over Ukraine which has plunged relations to an all-time low.
The meeting will put Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko in the same room for the first time since a passing encounter in France in June, though Ukrainian officials were at pains to say no face-to-face meeting there between the two men was planned as yet.
Nonetheless, with a Ukrainian military offensive making inroads against pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials were upbeat that the Minsk meeting could be a diplomatic opportunity for Kiev and provide a forum for bringing fresh diplomatic pressure to bear on Putin to end Moscow’s support for the rebels.
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