Interfax: Federation Council expects no breakthroughs from Minsk meeting, humanitarian issues to be emphasized

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) – No serious breakthroughs are expected with regard to a peace settlement in eastern Ukraine at the possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk because Poroshenko is guided by the U.S. stance, the Russian Federation Council international affairs committee said.

“Washington is not represented at this meeting in Minsk and, judging by the actions of the Washington administration, it is not interested in stabilizing the situation in Ukraine and stabilizing at the Ukrainian front. They do not want any breakthroughs there, in Washington – that is the issue,” Federation Council international affairs committee deputy head Andrei Klimov told Interfax on Tuesday.

During today’s meeting in Minsk it is “most likely not only relations between Ukraine, the Customs Union and the European Union are to be discussed but, most probably, the emphasis will be placed on the issues of solely humanitarian character” taking into account the situation in south-eastern Ukraine and the flow of Ukrainian refugees to Russia, Klimov said.

According to Klimov, it is necessary “to bring Mr. Poroshenko to reality” during the meeting. “The reality is that after all Russia is closer than Brussels and the United States, which is the main advisor and guide for the Ukrainian president,” he said.

Social and economic catastrophe awaits Ukraine ahead of winter “and the Kyiv authorities should realize at this meeting that no more concessions will come for Ukraine,” Klimov said.

“The Kyiv authorities want to live upon their own mind but at Russia’s expanse. This should not happen,” he said.

The talks will be held within a serious framework taking into account that Russia cannot make a number of serious economic decisions, Klimov said.

“We have the Customs Union, Russia’s obligations in the framework of this union exist, and obligations to members of the Eurasian Economic Union exist, so the conversation will be a difficult one. But the main thing today is a ceasefire and to end the humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.

According to Klimov, as of today, over 500,000 Ukrainian refugees are in Russia, “missiles, which fly into our territory and which are launched by Ukrainian troops, are exploding along the Russian border all the time and population of the southeast is in a state of humanitarian catastrophe.”

“All these issues will most probably prevail at the coming meeting because the situation requires immediate action,” Klimov said.

This meeting format was proposed to Ukraine by Russia in late 2013, Klimov said. “And if the talks had been held in such a format back then, the catastrophe, which is happening in south-eastern Ukraine today, would not have occurred. Today this is essentially an attempt by the Kyiv authorities to board a train which should have been boarded much earlier, but this is not our fault,” he said.