Updated on 01:11 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed over the telephone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko the first steps to bringing an end to the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine and the presidents’ views to exiting the crisis considerably coincide, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.
“The discussion continued on the military and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The heads of states exchanged their opinions of what needs to be done first for the rapid halt of bloodshed in the country’s southeast,” Peskov said.
“Both presidents’ views on possible ways to exit this difficult crisis situation, for the most part, coincide,” Peskov added.
Late August, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met in Minsk to discuss a possible resolution to Ukraine’s internal conflict.
During the meeting, Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Poroshenko agreed on a need for dialogue. The presidents also discussed the possibility of another delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine.
On Monday, the Belarusian capital hosted a meeting between the representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics and the Ukrainian government. The delegations expressed their views on possible reconciliation of the crisis, with the self-proclaimed republics claiming they will provide guarantees for Ukraine’s “single economic, cultural and political space,” should Kiev agree on their “special status.”
The Ukrainian government launched a military operation against the pro-independence movement of the country’s eastern regions, willing to break away from Kiev and refusing to recognize the government, which came to power following the February coup.
The fighting has killed over 2,500 and injured around 6,000 people and triggered a tense humanitarian situation in southeastern Ukraine. Moscow has called for an immediate stop to the fighting, arguing that only dialogue can lead to the resolution of the crisis.