Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he will call on
Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action for pro-Russian
separatists to be withdrawn from Ukraine when the two men meet
next week, his website said.
Poroshenko is scheduled to see Putin in the Belarussian
capital Minsk on Aug. 26 at a meeting that will also include
top leaders of the European Union and of the Russian-led
Though he did not mention Putin by name, Poroshenko was
quoted by his website as saying that the Ukrainian side
"would call for the (rebel) fighters to be withdrawn from
"I am sure we will succeed in this," he said.
Poroshenko's pro-Western leadership accuses Russia of
orchestrating separatist rebellions in Ukraine, in which more
than 2,000 people have been killed, and of arming the rebels.
Moscow denies this.
Saying he was going into the talks with the intention of
trying to find a peaceful end to the conflict, he added: "In
order to have solid positions in peace negotiations, it is
necessary to be strong, to have the unity of the people, a
strong country, a strong army.
"We are capable of defending our sovereignty, out
independence and our territorial integrity. Today we are
fighting for the independence of Ukraine. We together will
win for sure," he said.
Next Tuesday's meeting will be the first between Poroshenko
and Putin since a frosty encounter in June in Normandy,
France, during World War Two D-Day commemorations.
The meeting has raised prospects of a breakthrough to end
months of confrontation between Kiev and Moscow over the
future direction of Ukraine whose leadership has set out on a
road of integration into mainstream Europe to the dismay of
its former Soviet ruler.
The confrontation has provoked the worst crisis between
Russia and the West - which backs Kiev's pro-Europe course
and its accusations of Russian involvement in separatist
fighting - since the end of the Cold War.