MINSK, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Ukraine's government and insurgent leadership met here Friday for talks on the Ukraine crisis.
A ceasefire in Ukraine's restive east is widely expected from the meeting, so as to pave the way for a possible political settlement of the bloody conflict, which has killed over 2,500 people.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Thursday that a ceasefire with the insurgents will be ordered if an agreement on a peace plan to end the war in eastern Ukraine is signed at the Minsk talks.
On Wednesday, after talking over phone with Poroshenko on "concrete steps to promote a ceasefire between the militia and the Ukrainian forces," Putin proposed a seven-point plan to stop military clashes in eastern Ukraine.
Among others, the plan calls for an end to active offensive operations by armed forces and armed militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Moscow is ready to take practical steps toward the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis in line with Putin's proposal.
Western powers pile pressure on Russia ahead of Minsk talks
MOSCOW/LONDON, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Western powers are intensifying pressure on Russia over the Ukraine crisis ahead of scheduled talks in Minsk on Friday, which are expected to pave the way for a political solution to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
A ceasefire with the insurgents will be ordered if an agreement on a peace plan to end the war in eastern Ukraine is signed at the Minsk talks, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Thursday. Full story
NATO to offer comprehensive, tailored support to Ukraine: NATO chief
NEWPORT, Wales, Britain, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- NATO-Ukraine Commission Thursday issued a joint statement during the ongoing NATO summit in Newport, southeast Wales of Britain, stressing they will stand united and offer Ukraine "a comprehensive and tailored" assistance.
The statement said they urge Russia "to stop violate Ukraine and the military intervention in Ukraine, as well as not to provide weapons to militants in eastern Ukraine." Full story
Russia urges Kiev to show goodwill for Putin's plan to end conflict in eastern Ukraine
MOSCOW, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Russia hopes authorities of Kiev to show goodwill for President Vladimir Putin's plan on the settlement of conflict in Ukraine, said Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the upper house of Russian parliament Thursday.
"All depends on Kiev's goodwill which we hope will be shown. Russia is ready to do its best to ensure peace in the long- suffering southeastern regions of Ukraine," Matviyenko said. Full story