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Minsk talks: Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin agree on need to end Ukraine bloodshed


Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko says a “roadmap” will be prepared to end fighting between troops and pro-Russian separatists in the east after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus.

Vladimir Putin said Russia would assist a dialogue, but stopping the fighting was a matter for Ukraine itself.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of arming the rebels, a claim repeatedly denied by the Kremlin.

“A roadmap will be prepared in order to achieve, as soon as possible, a ceasefire regime which absolutely must be bilateral in character,” Petro Poroshenko said after two hours of direct talks with Vladimir Putin in Minsk.

Earlier this year, Petro Poroshenko declared a unilateral ceasefire but accused the rebels of not following suit.

Prior to their one-to-one meeting, Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin also took part in discussions with the EU’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton.

The summit came after 10 Russian soldiers were seized in Ukraine’s east.

Petro Poroshenko met Vladimir Putin for direct talks in Belarus

Petro Poroshenko met Vladimir Putin for direct talks in Belarus

More than 2,000 people have died in fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk.

The two regions declared independence from Kiev following Russia’s annexation of the southern Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March.

In a statement on his website after the talks, President Petro Poroshenko added: “Our main goal is peace. We are demanding decisive actions which will bring peace on Ukrainian soil.”

“The logic of a peace plan was after all supported by all the heads of state without exception.”

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference: “Russia, for its part, will do everything to support this peace process if it starts.”

However, he stressed that it was up to the government in Kiev and separatist leaders in the east to work out conditions for a truce.

Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin reportedly agreed to hold further consultations between Ukraine’s and Russia’s border guard agencies.

The meeting came as part of a summit taking place under the auspices of the Moscow-led Eurasian Customs Union, which also includes Belarus and Kazakhstan.

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