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EU-Ukraine summit to take place on April 27: Poroshenko

AFP , Saturday 28 Mar 2015
Poroshenko
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko (Photo: Reuters)
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A summit between top European Union officials and Ukraine's leaders will take place in Kiev at the end of April, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko announced on Saturday.

During a phone conversation with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, "the parties... confirmed that the Ukraine-EU summit would be held on April 27," a statement on Poroshenko's official website said.

The holding of annual summits was set down in the association agreement signed by the EU and Kiev's pro-western government after it came to power in June 2014.

That followed the fall of the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, who left the country following three months of bloody protests sparked by his decision to suspend preparations for the signing of the EU agreement.

Juncker was due in Kiev on Monday, but has cancelled the trip due to "unforeseen health conditions," Poroshenko's office said.

The April summit is expected to address Poroshenko's request for European peacekeepers to help monitor a truce signed last month between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in the east, aimed at ending nearly a year of fighting.

Officials will also discuss a possible aid boost for Ukraine's struggling economy, the statement said.

The European Parliament on Wednesday formally approved new economic aid worth 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) for Ukraine, two-thirds of which could be disbursed by the end of the 2015.

Both Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk are expected to attend, as well as EU heads of state and government, according to reports.

Brussels has also imposed heavy economic sanctions on Moscow, which is accused of sending weapons and troops in support of the pro-Russian rebels.

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