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Putin's spokesman: Putin, Poroshenko discuss peace settlement in Ukraine

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MOSCOW — 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.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after his talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk, Belarus. Putin is flying to Mongolia on Wednesday Sept. 3, for a working visit amid soaring tensions with Washington and NATO over a Kremlin-backed offensive in Ukraine.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after his talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk, Belarus. Putin is flying to Mongolia on Wednesday Sept. 3, for a working visit amid soaring tensions with Washington and NATO over a Kremlin-backed offensive in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)

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.

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PHOTO: A traditional Russian Matryoshka wooden doll depicting US President Barack Obama, right, Russian President Vladimir Putin, second from right, U.S. President George W. Bush, second from left,  Leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920's until 1953 Joseph Stalin, left, and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917 on a display in Tallinn, Estonia, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014  (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
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