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Ukraine, Russian Presidents to Meet in Bid to End Crisis
October 22, 2014   审核人:

   Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says he will meet with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin next week in Italy for talks on a peace plan for eastern Ukraine and an ongoing natural gas dispute.

  Poroshenko, speaking Saturday, said the talks will take place on the sidelines of an Asia-Europe summit in Milan, and are likely to include the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Britain.

  The Ukraine leader warned of difficult negotiations, while telling reporters "we are very close" to settling the gas dispute with Moscow.

  Russia shut off gas deliveries to energy-dependent Ukraine in June, over what Moscow claims are more than $5 billion in unpaid energy bills. The cutoff raises the specter of significant shortages in Kyiv and beyond, as the predictably harsh Eurasian winter approaches.

   Meanwhile, Ukraine defense spokesman Andriy Lysenko says attacks by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's embattled east appear to be subsiding. Speaking Saturday in Kyiv, he said Ukraine forces are ready to withdraw heavy weaponry from the front where rebels and government forces have battled for months.

  Separately, rebel leader Oleksandr Zakharchenko told reporters in Donetsk that separatists could begin a similar frontline artillery withdrawal in five days.

    乌克兰总统波罗申科说,他将于下星期在意大利会晤俄罗斯总统普京,讨论如何实现乌东和平并解决天然气争端。

     波罗申科星期六说,他和普京将利用在米兰参加亚欧首脑会议之机举行会谈,德国、法国、意大利和英国的领导人也可能参加。

    这位乌克兰领导人对记者说,同莫斯科的天然气争端“非常接近于”解决。不过他还说,谈判将是艰难的。

    莫斯科在今年6月份切断了对乌克兰的天然气供应,理由是乌克兰有50亿美元的天然气欠款未付。随着欧亚大陆寒冬的临近,切断天然气供应必然在乌克兰和其他国家造成严重短缺。

    另一方面,乌克兰国防部发言人利申科说,亲俄分裂势力在乌东的攻势似乎在减弱。利申科星期六在基辅说,政府军愿意在双方几个月来交战的前线后撤重武器。

    反政府力量领导人扎哈尔琴科在顿涅斯克对记者说,分离主义力量可能在5天之后也同样开始从前线后撤重武器。

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