Italy confirms Putin-Poroshenko meeting in Milan Friday

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko in Milan on Friday, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Wednesday.

Milan: Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko in Milan on Friday, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Wednesday.

Renzi said the two men at the centre of Europe's worst security crisis in years would meet at 8:00 am (1030 IST) on the sidelines of a summit of Asian and European leaders (ASEM).

The talks will also be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior officials, Renzi said.

Renzi said a statement would be made to the press on the outcome of the talks. The Italian premier, who is hosting the ASEM summit as Rome currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, will meet Poroshenko tomorrow evening and hold further talks with Putin on Friday afternoon.

Putin and Poroshenko last met one-on-one in August in Belarus. They failed then to agree a peace plan for Ukraine, but did reach an accord in early September. Since then they have been in regular telephone contact.

Friday's meeting comes against a backdrop of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Moscow rebels, which has generally held despite numerous breaches.

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