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Poroshenko Expects Progress Toward Ukraine Peace

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso address the media at commission headquarters in Brussels, Aug. 30, 2014.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday he expected to see progress toward peace in the east of the country in the coming days.

At a news conference in Brussels ahead of a European Union summit, he said in English: “We are waiting that in the very next days, starting from Monday, we can demonstrate the real progress in the peace negotiations.

“Why? Because we are too close to the border where from it would be no return to the peace plan.”

Poroshenko traveled to Brussels Saturday in hopes of persuading the EU to do more to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from supporting Ukraine's separatist rebels.

Fighter jet downed

Earlier Saturday, Ukrainian military officials said a fighter jet was shot down by a Russian missile during fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.

A Ukrainian military statement said the Su-25 was shot down Friday, and the pilot managed to eject safely. There was no indication of precisely where the incident took place.

NATO has called on Russia to cease its "illegal military operations" in eastern Ukraine, which it says are aimed at destabilizing the country.

The comments by NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday followed an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the worsening crisis.

Rasmussen, referencing satellite images released by his organization Thursday, said it was clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern Ukraine. He said the troop movement earlier this week was not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern over many months to destabilize Ukraine as a sovereign nation.