Poroshenko sets out ceasefire plan after call with Putin
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[June 18, 2014]
By Pavel Polityuk
KIEV (Reuters) - After a late-night
telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday set out proposals for a peace
plan for eastern Ukraine involving a unilateral ceasefire by government
Speaking to students at a military institute in Kiev, Poroshenko
outlined a 14-step plan, including an amnesty for separatist
fighters who lay down arms, and tighter controls over Ukraine's
border with Russia. Acting Defence Minister Mykhailo Koval told
journalists in Kiev the ceasefire "will happen in the next few
Ukraine accuses Russia of backing the rebels in the industrial
Russian-speaking east who rose up after mass protests in Kiev
toppled Viktor Yanukovich, a president sympathetic to Moscow. It
says the rebels have been bringing in weapons across the long border
"The plan will start with my order for a unilateral ceasefire,"
Poroshenko said. "Immediately after this, we need very quickly to
get support for the peace plan ... from all participants."
Poroshenko had said on Monday that a ceasefire could start only if
the border was secure, and that he had ordered troops to regain
control of it to pave the way for a truce and peace talks.
The Kremlin said Putin's conversation with Poroshenko late on
Tuesday night had "touched on the theme of a possible ceasefire in
the area of military action in southeastern Ukraine".
Moscow has urged a swift end to what it calls a "punitive operation"
by Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian separatists in the east.
Relations between the two neighbours are in tatters, three months
after Russia labelled the uprising against Yanukovich a
Western-backed coup, then annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea
Moscow has grudgingly acknowledged Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new
elected leader, but tensions are still high, exacerbated by Russia’s
decision to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine after the two sides
failed to agree a regime for pricing and the settlement of Ukraine’s
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On Wednesday, Russian investigators accused Ukrainian Interior
Minister Arsen Avakov and Ihor Kolomoisky, governor of the
Dnipropetrovsk region in the east, of criminal acts in the
government's military push against the separatists.
A spokesman for the federal Investigative Committee said they were
under investigation on charges including murder, kidnapping and
using illegal methods of warfare - although it was not immediately
clear under what jurisdiction.
"Kolomoisky and Avakov are literally drowning the country in the
blood of its own people," spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a
The Kremlin also said Putin had expressed his concern to Poroshenko
over the deaths of two journalists for Russian state television, who
were killed in shelling as Ukrainian forces fought pro-Russian
separatists near the eastern city of Luhansk.
Poroshenko expressed his condolences and assured Putin there would
be an investigation and that measures would be taken to protect
(writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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