GAS AND a Ukraine-EU free trade deal will top the agenda when leaders from the bloc, Kiev and President Vladimir Putin next meet – although no venue or time has been set.
The talks between Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso would be face-to-face.
Raising discussions of the disputes to the level of presidents appeared to offer hope of a possible easing of tensions over Ukraine, immersed in a crisis which has sent relations between Russia and the West plummeting.
Barroso spoke to Putin by telephone yesterday to discuss ways to ease the crisis in Ukraine, the Commission said in a statement.
“It was agreed to hold consultations between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission on the issues related with the implementation of the (EU-Ukraine) Association Agreement as well as on the supply of gas, in parallel with the efforts to stabilise the political and security situation.”
In June, three-way talks over the gas dispute broke down, prompting Russian energy giant Gazprom to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine.