MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko may hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan Friday, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said Wednesday.
"For now this meeting is not on the president's [Putin] schedule... They [the presidents] will be in contact in the extended format [at the summit], and it is not excluded that they can agree on that [bilateral meeting] as well. The agreement has not been reached [yet]," Ushakov told journalists Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin press service said that the two leaders had discussed the steps on reconciliation of the crisis in southeastern Ukraine in a phone conversation and confirmed "mutual readiness to continue exchanging views … on the sidelines of the October 16-17 ASEM [Asia-Europe Meeting] forum in Milan."
Ushakov also did not rule out Putin's participation in the so-called 'Normandy format' established in early June as the presidents of Russia, France, Ukraine, as well as the German chancellor, held a series of meetings over the situation in Ukraine on the sidelines of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of allied troops' landing in Normandy, France.
Earlier, President Poroshenko said he was anticipating hard but successful talks with Putin. The last meeting between the two leaders took place in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on August 26 at talks that also involved heads of Russia's Customs Union partner nations Belarus and Kazakhstan, along with EU officials.
The ASEM was established in 1996 as an informal platform for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. The 10th ASEM summit will be chaired by the President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy in association with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.