Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia sounded a conciliatory tone towards Russia, saying he wanted to resolve their impasse “peacefully.”
“We want to settle this situation peacefully. We don’t want to fight with the Russian people,” Mr. Deshchytsia said, ahead of top-level meetings on Ukraine in Paris, including between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Diplomatic sources in Paris told DPA that Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Deshchytsia were to hold bilateral talks. Neither side confirmed the meeting.
EU to provide Ukraine with aid worth $15 billion
The head of the European Union’s executive arm says the bloc is ready to provide Ukraine an €11 billion ($15 billion) aid package in loans and grants over the coming years.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Wednesday it will include €1.6 billion in loans and €1.4 billion in grants from the EU as well as €3 billion in fresh credit from the European Investment Bank.
Mr. Barroso didn’t immediately provide details over what time the money will be disbursed and which conditions on overhauling its economy the government in Kiev will have to meet.
The United States announced a $1 billion aid package in energy subsidies on Tuesday.
Kiev estimates it needs $35 billion in international rescue loans over the next two years.