EU summit start likely delayed due to Minsk talks, says spokesman

A European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday is likely to be delayed because of marathon Ukraine peace talks involving the French, German and Ukrainian leaders, a spokesman for EU president Donald Tusk said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Hollande were locked in overnight talks in the Belarussian capital with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Start of informal EUCO (European Council summit) likely to be delayed due to Minsk talks,” Tusk’s spokesman Preben Aamann said on Twitter.

The summit had been due to start at 1200 GMT with a briefing by Poroshenko, followed by talks on terrorism and the showdown with Greece over its demands to renegotiate its huge bailout.

But the Minsk negotiations on ending the 10-month conflict in Ukraine dragged on through the night before Putin emerged, saying a ceasefire deal had been reached.