Moments ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk, Belarus where upon the initiative of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a summit between the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and Ukraine will be held on Tuesday. As Interfax adds, the meeting will also be attended by three European commissioners - EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and European Commission Vice President, Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
Amusingly, Putin's arrival did not proceed without incident...
Putin is running late, and the Ukrainian delegation is annoyed that he keeps everyone waiting.— Nataliya Vasilyeva (@NatVasilyevaAP) August 26, 2014
This will be second meeting in the past three months between Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko organized with the mediation of a president a third country. However, official confirmation that a separate meeting between Putin and Poroshenko will take place does not yet exist.
As noted earlier, the main reason for the recent ramp in futures is because someone activated the de-escalation algo sending futs promptly from overnight lows to highs, on hopes there will be some resolution of Ukraine's proxy civil war, and maybe a detente between Russia and Europe, where the latter is now on the verge of a triple-dip recession due to "costs" against Russia.
And yet, a potential complication may arise following the release of a video just hours before the meeting which allegedly shows Russian soldiers who were captured on Ukraine territory on Tuesday, "sharply escalating a dispute over Moscow's alleged backing for separatist rebels in the east of the former Soviet republic" according to Reuters. Alas, that's not what the de-escalation algo thinks which is currenly buying up everything in sight, now that Ukraine has cried invading wolf one too many times.
As Reuters reports, a Moscow military source told Russian news agencies that a group of soldiers had surrendered to Ukrainian forces after crossing the border by accident. Needless to say, Ukraine didn't buy it: "This wasn't a mistake, but a special mission they were carrying out," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing.
He also said separatists were attacking the southeastern border town of Novoazovsk "at this very minute" and Ukrainian forces had destroyed 12 armoured infantry vehicles in the area.
Reuters further notes that Russia has always denied assertions by Ukraine, backed by the United States and the European Union, that it has been sending arms and troops across the border to support the pro-Moscow separatists. "Tuesday's video provided the strongest evidence yet to back up Kiev's claims of direct Russian military involvement, which Moscow has always disputed. It came a day after Ukraine's state security service said it had detained 10 Russian paratroopers who had crossed the border in a column of several dozen armed infantry vehicles."
In footage posted on the official Facebook page of the Ukrainian government's "anti-terrorist operation", the men were shown dressed in camouflage fatigues. One of them, who identified himself as Ivan Milchakov, listed his personal details, including the name of his paratroop regiment, which he said was based in the Russian town of Kostroma.
"I did not see where we crossed the border. They just told us we were going on a 70 km (45-mile) march over three days," he said. "Everything is different here, not like they show it on television. We've come as cannon fodder," he said in the video. Another man in the footage, who gave his name as Sergeant Andrei Generalov, said: "Stop sending in our boys. Why? This is not our war."
Russian news agencies quoted a defence ministry source as confirming that Russian servicemen had crossed into Ukraine but saying they did so inadvertently.
"The soldiers really did participate in a patrol of a section of the Russian-Ukrainian border, crossed it by accident on an unmarked section, and as far as we understand showed no resistance to the armed forces of Ukraine when they were detained," the source said.
So, accidental invasion (into what is technically the Donetsk Republic) then? Judging by the market's reaction it is merely confirmation of more pent-up de-invasions.
Full clip below: