Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday he intended to meet January 15 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
The meeting, part of efforts to seek a negotiated end to the conflict in Ukraine’s east, would take place in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, Poroshenko announced at a press conference in Kyiv.
“The foreign ministers of the ‘Normandy format’ countries have been given instructions to prepare the agenda and draft resolutions for this summit,” said Poroshenko, referring to a similar quadripartite meeting earlier this year in France.
Offering to act as mediator during talks with Poroshenko in Kyiv last week, Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, confirmed his support for Ukraine and said he hoped for a quick resolution of the conflict between government troops and pro-Russia separatists in the country’s east, which to date has claimed more than 4,700 lives.
Both Kyiv and the West have accused Russia of fueling the unrest as part of efforts to destabilize Ukraine for its pro-Western moves. Moscow, Ukraine’s Soviet-era overlord, denies the claim.
IMF mission to head to Kyiv
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has announced Monday that it would be dispatching a mission to Kyiv in early January to discuss implementation of an economic reform plan for Ukraine.
“The International Monetary Fund is moving expeditiously to continue discussions with the Ukrainian authorities on the IMF-supported economic reform program aiming to stabilize the Ukrainian economy and restore sustainable growth,” the international lender said in a statement.
The mission’s work in Kyiv would begin January 8 and could last through the end of the month.
Ukraine, in dire need of outside economic assistance, has already received two tranches worth $4.6 billion under a $17 billion IMF-led bailout package agreed to in April.
The IMF has made further disbursements contingent on Kyiv implementing long-promised economic reforms.
Some information for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.