KIEV, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Thursday that he was ready to return to a ceasefire in his military campaign to quell insurgents in the country's east if certain condition were met.
Poroshenko discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine in a phone conversation with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, said a statement posted on the Ukrainian president's website.
"Poroshenko emphasized he was ready to return to a ceasefire as soon as confirmation was received that it is being fulfilled in a bilateral format as well as the release of hostages and the establishment of control over the border through OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) monitoring," the statement said.
Biden, for his part, assured that "the United States shares and supports the approach of the Ukrainian president on settling the situation in this time difficult for Ukraine and is ready to make efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine," the statement said.
Poroshenko declared a week-long unilateral ceasefire on June 21 to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict, and later extended it by three days. He refused to further extend it, citing attacks by the rebels on Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainian military resumed its offensive on Tuesday in the states of Donetsk and Lugansk by launching air raids on rebel targets.
Also on Thursday, Poroshenko proposed Valery Geletei to be the country's new defense minister, which was approved by the parliament.
He instructed Geletei to conduct urgent reforms "so that no one had an idea to plan aggression against Ukraine," the Interfax news agency said.
PARIS, July 3 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to do more to reach ceasefire in Ukraine.
At a phone conversation with Moscow top official, the two European leaders stressed "the importance of implementing a deal reached in Berlin on Wednesday between the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in order to achieve a bilateral ceasefire." Full story