KIEV, Jan. 15 - President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday stepped up contacts with European leaders seeking to secure support for Ukraine in the standoff with Russia over natural gas supplies ahead of an emergency energy summit.
Yushchenko spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the phone on Thursday, ahead of Merkel’s meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday.
Later in the day, Yushchenko traveled to London for a meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for talks over energy security, according to Yushchenko’s press service.
The contacts, including a meeting with Polish President Lech Kazcynski on Wednesday, come as Russian has been seeking to host an energy summit to discuss the standoff and the ways out of the crisis.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently suggested holding the summit in Moscow on Saturday, but Yushchenko’s office had responded the summit must take place in a country that is not part of the conflict.
Yushchenko suggested the summit may be held in Prague or in Brussels.
“Merkel supported the proposal concerning the urgent summit to involve the leaders of Ukraine, Russia and European Union countries,” the press service reported after her phone conversation with Yushchenko.