Ukraine, Donbass Rebels Agree Ceasefire

Politics » DIPLOMACY | September 5, 2014, Friday // 16:30
Bulgaria: Ukraine, Donbass Rebels Agree Ceasefire Deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed `Donetsk People`s Republic`, Andrei Purgin attends talks in Minsk, Belarus, 05 September 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Kiev officials and representatives of pro-Russian rebels have signed a ceasefire agreement at their meeting in Minsk.

Under the agreement that the two sides struck at Friday's session of the Contact Group for Ukraine, both Ukrainian soldiers and forces of self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" are to lay down arms at 18:00 Kiev time (16:00 GMT), Interfax Ukraine reports, citing sources familiar with the negotiations.

The document contains 14 points outlining the steps to peace.

Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) attended the talks.

Russian business website RBC Daily quotes OSCE officials as confirming a ceasefire document has been signed.

However, conflicting reports have emerged as to the timing, with President Petro Poroshenko claiming both sides are to end fire at 14:00 Kiev time, even though clashes ensued after that hour.

The meeting started amid expectations of a ceasefire that Poroshenko vowed to implement on Friday.

Rebels announced they would also lay down arms if an agreement is signed with them.

Earlier, separatists were reported to have sought new gains, with fighters of the "Donetsk People's Republic" having entered the port city of Mariupol on Friday.

Citing rebels, the Russian agency RIA reports fighting is ongoing in Mariupol.

Kiev authorities have refused to issue an official response.

More to follow

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Tags: Minsk, Contact Group, Ukraine, Donbass, ceasefire, Petro Poroshenko, Mariupol, Russia, OSCE
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