KIEV, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday announced a week-long ceasefire in the fight against pro- Russia separatists in the east of the country, according to a statement issued by the presidential press service.
"Ukrainian army ceases fire. But it does not mean that we would not fight back against any aggression towards our soldiers," Poroshenko was quoted by his press service as saying.
Poroshenko also said that the government troops will do their best to protect Ukraine and preserve the territorial integrity of the country, according to the statement.
The truce between government forces and insurgents will start at 10 p.m. local time (2000 GMT) on June 20 and will end at 10 a.m. next Friday, the presidential press service said.
The week-long ceasefire was launched to allow the rebels to lay down their weapons, free hostages and start peace talks with the government in Kiev.
Unilateral ceasefire is a key feature of the presidential 14- point plan aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern regions, where government troops have been fighting with pro- Russia armed activists.
Kiev started its military operations in mid-April in an attempt to retake control of the cities and towns seized by the armed activists, who declared independence from Kiev. Ukraine has said that the separatist unrest has been fomented by Moscow and separatist rebels have been supported and armed by volunteer fighters from Russia, though it is denied by Kremlin.