Risk assets across Europe rose sharply on Wednesday, led by a surge in Russian stocks, on hopes that the presidents of both Ukraine and Russia were nearing a cease-fire agreement.
Russian shares on the MICEX index closed up around 3.5 percent. European bourses tracked those gains with the German DAX index, for instance, closing provisionally 1.1 percent higher.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said a political solution to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine could be reached at talks in Minsk, Belarus on Friday.
"Our views on the way to resolve the conflict, as it seemed to me, are very close," Reuters cited Putin as saying at a press conference on Wednesday.
In a statement from the Kremlin Wednesday, the Russian government outlined a seven-point plan for an effective ceasefire. Among the conditions were the withdrawal of Ukrainian armed forces to a distance that would make it impossible to fire on populated areas and the opening up of corridors for refugees and delivering aid.
However, later on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Putin's comments on peace were an attempt to avoid new sanctions from the West, according to Reuters.
It followed earlier confusion after Poroshenko announced he had reached a permanent cease-fire agreement with Russia, but later toned down the statement by dropping the word "permanent" from the text.