Russia, Ukraine talks end without major breakthrough

A picture released by Russian President Vladimir Putin's press office shows him taking part in a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, on August 26, 2014Talks between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine apparently failed to make a major breakthrough towards ending brutal fighting in east Ukraine Wednesday as strongman Vladimir Putin played down the entry by his troops into the former Soviet state. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Putin sat down for a crunch one-on-one in Minsk after marathon talks involving top EU officials as tensions spiked after Moscow admitted for the first time that its troops had crossed into Ukraine. Poroshenko said there were “some results” but there seemed to be no significant compromises to help end four months of clashes between government forces and pro-Russian fighters that some fear could spill over into all-out war between the two neighbours. The Russian leader said he would “do everything” to help a future peace process but did little to soothe tensions when he shrugged off Kiev’s claims it had captured 10 Russian troops on its territory, with military sources in Moscow earlier saying they crossed over “by accident”.

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