Poroshenko Vows Donbass Ceasefire after Calling Merkel, Putin
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that Ukrainian special forces fighting rebels in the east are to halt their attacks, according to his peace plan.
He said that the "unilateral ceasefire" is the first part of his initiative, which "must draw support from all participants in the Donbass events".
In his statement he refused to set any specific date to start his plan.
Poroshenko repeated that rebels are to be granted amnesty, and "mercenaries" (those who, as the ruling elite believes, come from Russia) would be allowed to leave the country.
Eastern borders should be blocked as the plan is being carried out, as "a huge risk exists that criminals take advantage of the ceasefire," Interfax quoted Poroshenko as saying. In his view, pro-Russian activists, which have been fighting Kiev forces for months, could receive support and reinforcements from outside.
A ten-kilometer buffer zone is to be established along the border with Russia, as the Ukrainian President explained to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
As the two spoke over the phone, Poroshenko asked Merkel to assist his country in controlling the border, and official reports suggest she showed approval of the steps he offers to solve the crisis.
Plans for sealing off the border with Russia were first announced earlier this week by Ukraine's Defense Ministry.
Apart from Merkel, Poroshenko also spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss proposed measures.
The Kremlin says the two presidents also touched other subjects, including the death of two Russian journalists near Luhansk, in the east of Ukraine.
Poroshenko promised his counterpart Kiev is to launch an investigation into the tragic events.
Their conversation followed an explosion in Central Ukraine that hit a transit gas pipeline linking Russia and Slovakia.
Kiev declared the incident might have been a "deliberate" act, with Interior Minister Arsen Avakov claiming Russia could be behind it as it intended "to bring Ukraine into disrepute as a partner in the gas sector".
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Dear Novinite, what if to spread Your obvious sympathy to Mr.Poroshenko on the ordinary people of Ukrainian South-East. Listen to them, Novinite:
...we want this junta, ["central authorities"] to understand: we won't leave our city, we won't betray
our religion, our motherland...they kill us but we'll stay here till the end, we won't obey those killers
and we won't live in one state with them...Here, in Slavyansk, we fight against Fascism...
4:50 - ...if bombing lasts, then we'll be sleeping here...I'm terrified...
0:08 - They[Ukrainian "central authorities"] drop phosphorus bombs on us...no water, no electricity...
0:30 - they "сlean" the territory, they don't need people here...
0:35 - [the correspondent asks] but they insist that it's "opolchentsy"("terrorists"/"rebels") who kill you...
0:38 -...how!? Opolchentsy are the part of us, they defend us, they live here, in Slavyansk, it's National Guard and Ukr.Army who kill us...
2:05 - ...Yatsenuk tells that we are subhumans, creatures...we, who live and work here...We clearly realize:
Ukraine is sold to America, he[Poroshenko] fulfils the American orders...
2:25 - They call us "separatists", "terrorists"...but we haven't attacked them, we want peace...
not we came to them, they came to us and kill us...what for?...
3:05 - ...we need help...help...or "our government" will exterminate us...it's henocide...