Updated at 23:33,12-02-2020

United States welcomes Minsk talks on Ukraine crisis


The United States has welcomed a meeting between the presidents of the Customs Union countries and Ukraine and high-ranking EU officials that is scheduled to take place in Minsk on August 26.

"We think that there needs to be dialogue here, and that’s a good thing, because there needs to be a peaceful end to this," Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State, told reporters on August 19.

She added that the United States was "not a part of this meeting."
Ms. Harf warned that "we need to see words backed up by actions on the Russian side, and we’ll see what comes out of the meeting."

"Russia is the one who has been sending weapons and fighters to another country, so they’re the ones who need to de-escalate here. And that’s what we’ve said from the beginning," said Ms. Harf.

The talks in Minsk are expected to be attended by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, and three high-ranking representatives of the European Commission.
The implementation of Ukraine's association agreement with the EU, energy security and efforts to end violence in eastern Ukraine are to top the agenda of the meeting.