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Poroshenko, Nazarbaev Discuss Ties, Ukraine Crisis In Astana

ASTANA -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbaev, have discussed bilateral ties in Astana.

The two leaders on October 9 also discussed the situation in Ukraine's east, where the military conflict between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian armed forces has left more than 7,900 dead since April 2014.

Poroshenko, who arrived in the Kazakh capital on October 8, said after the talks that the current cease-fire in Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions give reasons for "cautious optimism" for full implementation of the conflict-regulation agreement reached in Minsk in February.

Nazarbaev said his country supports the Minsk process, stressing that "there is no alternative" to a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Nazarbaev added that Kazakhstan will continue sending food to Ukraine's east and will financially support the regions hit by the conflict through the International Red Cross.

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