The presidents of Russia and Ukraine have sat down for talks, meeting face-to-face for the first time since June on the fighting that has engulfed eastern Ukraine.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko were joined by the presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan and three senior officials from the European Union.
In opening the meeting in Minsk, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko urged both sides to “discard political ambitions and not to seek political dividend”.
The Ukrainian president is expected to face pressure to find a negotiated settlement – not a military victory – to the fighting that began in April.
That was the option called for by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a visit to Kiev last weekend.