Poroshenko, After Meeting With Putin, Sees 'Road Map' To Eastern Ukraine Truce

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poroshenko in minsk
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (R) shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during their meeting in Minsk, August 26, 2014.

MINSK, Belarus (Reuters) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said early Wednesday a "road map" would be prepared to reach a cease-fire as soon as possible in eastern Ukraine, following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Belarussian capital.

"A road map will be prepared in order to achieve as soon as possible a cease-fire regime which absolutely must be bilateral in character," Poroshenko said in a statement after the talk with Putin.

Poroshenko said the multilateral talks in Minsk, which included European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the leaders of Kazakhstan and Belarus, were "tough and complex."

For his part, Putin said he and Poroshenko had discussed the need for an end to bloodshed in Ukraine, but it was up to Kiev to work out conditions for a truce with separatist rebels.

"We talked about the need to end bloodshed as soon as possible, about the need to shift towards political resolution of all issues," Putin told journalists. "Russia, for its part, will do everything to support this peace process if it starts."

Putin also said the two presidents agreed to talks on gas supplies between Moscow and Kiev. The two countries are at loggerheads over the conflict in Ukraine, Kiev's relations with the European Union, and trade and energy issues.

"We need to resume our energy dialogue, including about gas problems. Sincerely speaking, this is a complicated issue, it has reached a dead end, but we still need to talk about it. We agreed to resume these consultations," Putin said.

He reiterated that Russia would take steps to protect its economy if its concerns, related to Kiev's trade and association agreements with the European Union, are not addressed.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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