MINSK, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Belarus confirmed Tuesday that it would hold a high-level meeting on the Ukraine issue here on Aug. 26.
The meeting will be attended by the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, said the press service of the Belarusian president.
Ukraine's presidential press service said earlier that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has confirmed his participation during a phone conversation with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and EU Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger are also expected to attend.
The meeting will dwell on the partnership between Kiev and the EU, European energy security and ways to stabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian statement.
The Kremlin said Putin would hold a number of bilateral meetings in the Belarusian capital, but did not specify if those meetings would include one with Poroshenko.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that it is premature to speak about a face-to-face meeting between Putin and Poroshenko, as "these talks are not easy ... They must be well- prepared."
Also on Tuesday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko made phone calls with the presidents of Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan respectively, Belarusian presidential press service said.
The leaders discussed the overall situation in Ukraine and measures to normalize the state of affairs in the country as well as relations with Ukraine in view of Ukraine's signing of the agreement on association with the European Union.
BRUSSELS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso held talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday, condemning the shelling of a refugee convoy in eastern Ukraine.
Following an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Barroso decided that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Vice-President Gunther Oettinger, responsible for energy, and Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht would represent the European Union (EU) at the Customs Union-Ukraine Summit meeting in Minsk on Aug. 26. Full story
SOFIA, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The joint project company, South Stream Bulgaria, has increased its capital despite the government ban on gas pipeline preparatory works in Bulgarian territory, according to a press release Tuesday.
In June, the then-Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski suspended works on the South Stream pipeline. This followed the European Commission opening an infringement procedure against Bulgaria because it said the company "has been awarded to design, finance and operate the gas pipeline without the transparent and competitive procedure." Full story