Next Tuesday Minsk will host a summit of leaders of the Customs Union, Ukraine and the European Union – the largest international meeting for the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis since the beginning of the civil war in the south-east of the country.
Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine will be represented by their presidents – Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Alexander Lukashenko and Petro Poroshenko; the EU – by the head of European diplomacy, Catherine Ashton, and EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger as well as EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht.
The meeting will be dedicated to discussing relations between the Customs Union and Ukraine concerning its European association. The meeting will also be dedicated to EU energy security in connection with the Ukrainian crisis.
The deputy director of the Institute of CIS Countries, Vladimir Zharikhin, said that there are so many problems between the EU, Ukraine and Russia that they are unlikely to be solved in one meeting.
A political consultant, the director of the Slobodchuk and Partners: politics, PR, elections firm, Sergei Slobodchuk stressed that the meeting will have more of an economic rather than political character. “The main objective of this meeting is to find a balance between the customs regimes of the Customs Union and Ukraine, which has signed an association agreement with the EU.”
Source: Vestnik Kavkaza, 2014