Has Ukraine's fate been determined?
Negotiations between the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and the heads of states of the Customs Union, Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Alexander Lukashenko, as well as the representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, have ended in Minsk.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that this meeting has to be regarded as a platform for discussing cooperation between Kiev and Russia. He noted that deepening cooperation with Kiev will be hard to do if Kiev continues to be an associated member of the EU. This agreement will cost Russian 100 billion rubles, Putin said.
Putin also talked about what Ukraine is losing with this agreement.
At the same time, he said that the crisis can only be solved through peaceful measures.
In his turn, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has urged the international community to provide assistance to Ukraine in order to prevent economic collapse in the country. He added that the Customs Union should send humanitarian aid to the east of Ukraine.
The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, said that a further toughening of sanctions might lead to the "emergence of new dividing lines on the body of Europe" and urge the bloodshed in Europe to stop.
The President of Ukraine in his turn urged the participants in the meeting to accept his plan for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the east of Ukraine. It consists of 15 steps and provides all participants in the negotiations with safety guarantees.