KIEV, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Although Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine are clear of gunshots temporarily over a ceasefire, people here have no illusions that the months-long crisis will end soon.
Political analysts agreed that there is no easy and quick fix to the problem, but some encouraging signs are indeed in sight thanks to the compromise and concessions made by parties concerned.
PEACE EFFORTS MEET MIXED REACTION
There is no doubt that the rebels' uprising in Ukraine's east posed great challenge for the government, but its "anti-terror" operations, which began in mid-April, have brought no positive results.
Insurgents' attacks on checkpoints set by the pro-government troops became more frequent and the government side sustained heavy losses as 49 Ukrainian servicemen were killed as the rebels shot down the military plane they were aboard.
In efforts to stop the standoff, President Petro Poroshenko announced a peace plan, offering a week-long ceasefire as of June 20, power decentralization in the country through constitutional reform, early parliamentary elections and local elections in the crisis-hit regions.
The president' s move was positively appraised by many local experts.
"I highly appreciate Poroshenko's peace plan, because it is vital to stop provocations," Alexey Koshel, a political analyst at the Kiev-Mohyla analytical school has said.
Maxim Rosumniy, an analyst at the National Institute of Strategic Studies also said that the ceasefire would show the civilians from Donbas that the government in Kiev was not their enemy.
"It is possible to achieve a long-term success in the operation and establish control over the territory only with loyalty and support from the majority of population in this region," Rosumniy said.
However, some Ukrainian experts are cautious about the peace prospects.
Taras Zhovtenko, an analyst at the Center for Euro-Atlantic Integration said that "If political centrism and the intention to negotiate with the separatists fall short of expectations, the voters will require very tough measures. This can lead to a new wave of radical movements in Ukraine."
Oleg Lyashko, a lawmaker and one of the frontrunners in the recent presidential campaign said concessions to insurgents would not bring positive results for Kiev.
"In my opinion, the so-called peace plan will lead to the loss of Donbas," Lyashko wrote on his page in a social network.
Insurgents are not really interested in concessions from the government,and they are lulling Kiev' s vigilance so as to split the regions from Ukraine, he added.
NO QUICK FIX, BUT ENCOURAGING SIGNS IN SIGHT
It seems highly unlikely that the current tensions in Ukraine will be de-escalated soon and experts warn that the confrontation in the east could snowball into a nationwide movement.
"If we fail to achieve results in the negotiation process, the militants will have time to prepare for more effective tactics and the conflict will go beyond the Donbas," Mykola Malomuzh, a military expert said.
Nevertheless, there are some encouraging signs in sight.
On Monday, the rebel groups agreed to halt fire by June 27 to reciprocate the ceasefire declared by Poroshenko after the multilateral talks attended by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, the Russian ambassador, rebel leaders and European officials in the eastern city of Donetsk.
Kuchma said Thursday the talks would continue. "Tomorrow, we are going to continue the negotiations," Kuchma said.
Earlier Thursday, the Interfax news agency, citing the self-styled leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Andrey Purgin, said insurgents in the east would seek a continuation of the ceasefire with government troops at the negotiations.
Meanwhile, Poroshenko has phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to communicate rather than confront with Russia like before over the crisis.
Kremlin, which has a large influence on the Russian-speaking regions, has expressed support for Poroshenko's peace plan, while the parliament has revoked a resolution authorizing the use of Russian military force in Ukraine.
A constructive dialogue among Ukraine, Russia and other international mediators is of vital importance to help generate a political solution to the crisis in the restive regions, experts stressed.
French FM Fabius meets U.S. Secretary of State Kerry on Ukraine crisis
PARIS, June 26 (Xinhua) -- French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.
In the statement released after the meeting, Kerry said he and Fabius believed that Russia should call for the disarmament of militias in eastern Ukraine. Full story
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MOSCOW, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Thursday for the truce in Ukraine to be extended.
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