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Ukraine, Russia agree peace moves but fighting rages on

Published on Sep 4, 2014 12:46 AM
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday a deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine could be reached this week, a clear attempt to show the West he was trying to de-escalate the conflict despite renewed shelling. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV/ULAN BATOR (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday a deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine could be reached this week, a clear attempt to show the West he was trying to de-escalate the conflict despite renewed shelling.

After speaking with Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko, Putin said their views on ending the violence were "very close" and Kiev and the rebels could reach an agreement by Friday, much-needed respite for the Ukrainian leader battling a crumbling economy.

But hopes of peace were clouded by Western concerns that the announcement was timed by the Kremlin to wrong-foot NATO on the eve of a summit that will discuss the crisis and to sow doubt in the European Union over imposing new sanctions against Moscow.

U.S. President Barack Obama said a ceasefire would succeed only if Moscow stopped sending troops to Ukraine.

 
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