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Russia agrees on Ukraine peace steps, not ceasefire: Kremlin

The leaders of Russia and Ukraine had discussed steps towards peace in east Ukraine, but did not agree on a ceasefire as Russia "is not a party to the conflict", said the Kremlin.

MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Wednesday (Sep 3) said Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko had agreed on steps towards peace in conflict-ridden east Ukraine but did not agree on a ceasefire.

Poroshenko’s press office had said on Wednesday that a “permanent ceasefire” in Donbass region had been reached, in a telephone exchange with Putin. According to RT.com, the statement was later retracted, but Kiev said steps to end hostilities in the region had been agreed upon.

Russian news agency RIA said the two leaders had “discussed the steps that would contribute to a ceasefire between the militia and the Ukrainian forces”, but Russia “cannot physically agree to a ceasefire because it is not a party to the conflict”, citing Putin’s press secretary.

RUSSIA A "TERRORIST STATE": PM

Hours after the announcement of the establishment of peace moves, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Wednesday called Russia a “terrorist state” that was solely to blame for the four months of unrest.

He said: “Russia is a terrorist state, it is an aggressor state and will bear responsibility under international law.”

The premier also said Ukraine has adopted a project to building a “real state border” between the two countries. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ukraine-Russia border has been largely porous.

UKRAINIAN TROOPS' WITHDRAWAL KEY TO PEACE

Meanwhile, pro-Russian rebel leader Vladimir Antyufeyev said on Wednesday a pull-back of Ukrainian troops in Donbass was the main condition for peace. He told Reuters “that's the only reasonable way” for peace in the separatist-held area.

Antyufeyev, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, added that talks of a ceasefire between Moscow and Kiev was a “provocation”, as Russia was not a party to the unrest.

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