Posted: Sep 3, 2014 1:54 AM
Updated: Sep 3, 2014 1:54 AM
MOSCOW (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed a peace settlement in eastern Ukraine with President Petro Poroshenko and found that they "largely share views" on ways out of the crisis, Putin's spokesman was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Putin and Poroshenko met last week for talks which mainly highlighted the vastly conflicting views of the two leaders.
Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of sending its troops and weapons to support pro-Russian insurgents who have been fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine since mid-April. Moscow has vehemently denied this charge.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies on Wednesday that Putin and Poroshenko in a recent conversation earlier on Wednesday found that they "largely share views" on what could be done to stop the bloodshed what could be done to stop the bloodshed in Ukraine's east.
Putin and Poroshenko are known to have conflicting views on post-war Ukraine. Putin since early spring has pushed for the federalization of Ukraine that would give a broad autonomy to Russian-speaking regions in the east. Poroshenko has rejected the idea, fearing that it could lead to the break-up of the country. Instead, he has suggested devolving powers to the regions, giving them a greater say in local governance and taxation.
Over the weekend, the European Union leaders agreed to prepare a new round of sanctions that could be enacted in a week, after NATO accused Russia of sending tanks and troops into southeastern Ukraine. A NATO summit in Wales on Thursday is also expected to approve measures designed to counter Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Estonia Wednesday morning in a show of solidarity with NATO allies who fear they could be the next target of Russia's aggression.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine has killed nearly 2,600 people and forced over 340,000 to flee their homes, according to the U.N.