The head of the Kremlin's human rights council has been quoted as saying a ceasefire by Kiev and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine would provide "light at the end of the tunnel" in the five-month-old conflict.
"I think we are already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," Mikhail Fedotov told the Russian news agency Interfax.
He added: "If an agreement is reached on a ceasefire, it will be mean the path is open to normal negotiations, normal political dialogue. The important first step is a ceasefire."
Were the Russians -as Barack Obama claims - weighed down by sanctions, or where the Ukrainians looking to cut their losses?
The new president of the European Council could be "very important" for David Cameron.