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Putin: Ukraine must withdraw, rebels must halt

Russian president Vladimir Putin (Jason Lee - Pool, Getty Images)
Russian president Vladimir Putin (Jason Lee - Pool, Getty Images)
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Updated: 9/03 7:42 am

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A day ahead of a NATO summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued his own peace plan for eastern Ukraine. He's calling on Russian-backed insurgents there to stop "advancing," and he's urging Ukraine to pull its troops out of the region.

Putin spoke in the Mongolian capital, where he said he had come up with a 7-point peace plan on the plane trip there. Under the plan, Kiev would have to withdraw its troops and stop its artillery strikes.

Hours earlier, Ukraine issued a vague statement about agreeing with Putin on cease-fire steps. But the separatists rejected the move, saying no cease-fire is possible without a pullback by Ukraine. And Putin's spokesman says Moscow isn't in a position to agree to a cease-fire because it isn't a party to the conflict.

The back-and-forth came as President Barack Obama arrived in Estonia in a show of solidarity with NATO allies who fear they could be the next target of Russia's aggression.

NATO is holding a summit in Wales tomorrow, with plans to approve a rapid-response team to counter the Russian threat.

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