KIEV, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday unveiled a plan aimed at peacefully resolving the conflict in eastern regions, where government troops had been fighting with pro-Russia armed activists.
The document, published on the presidential website, has offered unilateral ceasefire and an amnesty to those rebels who have not committed "serious crimes" as a part of concessions to insurgents.
Among other things, the plan has promised power decentralization in the country through constitutional reform, early parliamentary elections and local elections in the crisis- hit regions.It also includes a provision of enhancing the status of the Russian language across the country and provides security guarantees to all people regardless of political beliefs.
The presidential initiative has proposed a creation of 10- kilometers buffer zone on the Ukrainian border with Russia and a special corridor to allow insurgents to leave the crisis-hit areas safely.
The document calls on the rebels to lay down their weapons, free hostages, abandon the seized buildings and start peace talks with the government in Kiev.
Ukrainian government started its military operation against insurgents in mid-April in an attempt to retake control of the cities and towns seized by the armed activists, who declared independence from Kiev.
The protest in the mostly Russian-speaking eastern part of Ukraine started shortly after the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Later, the protest snowballed into violent unrest, with insurgents demanding their region split from Ukraine.
So far, more than 260 people have died in clashes between government troops and rebels in eastern part of the country.
MOSCOW, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia hoped the newly-nominated Ukrainian Foreign Minister would help promote constructive, diplomatic cooperation between the two countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced the expectation while having a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin over the phone Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Full story
MOSCOW, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's statement on ceasefire looks more like an ultimatum to the insurgents in Ukraine's southeastern regions, the Kremlin press service said Friday.
"A primary analysis shows that this is not an invitation to peace and talks, but an ultimatum to Ukraine's southeastern militias to lay down arms," the press service added, "it lacks a key element - a proposal to start talks." Full story