MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow does not believe that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's participation in the CIS summit in Minsk would have affected the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
“This [conflict settlement] is handled by representatives of Kiev and [Ukraine's] southeast in the framework of the Minsk process,” Lavrov said, noting that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is not engaged in the resolution of the Ukrainian conflict.
Commenting on the absence of the Ukrainian president at the summit, Lavrov stated that “Ukraine is represented by Ambassador [to Belarus] Mykhailo Yezhel”.
The Ukrainian crisis was addressed by several CIS leaders during their opening speeches at the summit, however, this issue was not on the official agenda for the Commonwealth's meeting in Minsk.
On Thursday, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that the Friday CIS meeting would be attended by Ukraine's representatives, but not by Ukrainian President Poroshenko.
The Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry has previously stated that Ukraine's unwillingness to participate in the CIS summit at the presidential level was due to a lack of support from CIS members on the Crimean issue. The people of Crimea’s voted in a referendum to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia in March.