Kiev, Pro-Russian Rebels Agree on 'Day of Silence'

World » UKRAINE | December 5, 2014, Friday // 08:35
Bulgaria: Kiev, Pro-Russian Rebels Agree on 'Day of Silence' A volunteer guards a self-defense base in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: EPA

Following a meeting with the heads of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies on Thursday, President Petro Poroshenko declared December 9 as a “day of silence” in eastern Ukraine.

If the December 9 ceasefire is observed by both sides, it will be a positive step towards the implementation of the Minsk accords.

Ukraine is ready to start withdrawing its heavy weapons from the eastern frontline on December 10, if the pro-Russian rebels respond with similar measures.

The ceasefire that had been agreed between the government in Kiev and the rebels on September 5 in Minsk, has been breached on numerous occasions.

Poroshenko and his top security officials have also discussed further measures to be taken in case the anti-government forces do not fulfill the Minsk agreements, the official presidential website reports.

The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have also agreed to accept the December 9 “day of silence”, but doubt that the government forces will observe the ceasefire.

The situation in eastern Ukraine has been among the leading topics on the agenda of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OSCE that has started on Thursday in Basel, and is to continue on Friday.

At the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini urged all sides to observe the Minsk ceasefire.

Mogherini also called Ukrainian authorities to launch a national dialogue.

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter held the opening speech at the 21st Ministerial Council in Basel.

Burkhalter also highlighted the importance of the Minsk agreement and called for its implementation.

The Swiss Foreign Minister called on all OSCE participating states to support the Organization's efforts towards de-escalation and normalisation of the situation in Ukraine.

Burkhalter said that Switzerland will support the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine with further CHF 2 million, and his country is committed to support the SMM beyond the Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE.

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Tags: Ukraine, rebels, ceasefire, Petro Poroshenko, Donetsk, Lugansk, Minsk accord, agreement, Federica Mogherini, OSCE
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