KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine said on Wednesday its president had agreed with Russia's Vladimir Putin on steps towards a "cease-fire regime" in Kiev's conflict with pro-Moscow rebels, but the Kremlin denied any actual truce deal. "The parties reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace," said a statement by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office, replacing an earlier statement that had spoken of a "permanent cease-fire."
Putin's spokesman said the leaders agreed on steps towards peace but not a cease-fire in the conflict, which has killed more than 2,600 people since April and provoked the worst crisis in relations between Russia and the West since the Cold War. "Russia cannot physically agree to a cease-fire because it is not a party to the conflict," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. That position is disputed by Kiev and Western governments, which say Russian troops are fighting alongside the pro-Moscow separatists. Russia denies any military presence in Ukraine.
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