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Poroshenko Proposes Ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine

Poroshenko Proposes Ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proposed a unilateral ceasefire today after a late-night discussion on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Poroshenko and Putin focused their dialogue on ending the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian insurgents and government forces.

Poroshenko’s ceasefire, if implemented, would offer Russian separatists the opportunity to halt their combat. In a speech today to students at a Kiev military institute, Poroshenko expressed his hope that the ceasefire will lead to a lasting solution. The Ukrainian president expressed a desire for the “disarmament of military groups” and “restoration of order,” as well as the liberation of hostages and seized premises. 

The ceasefire is part of a broader 14-point peace plan which Poroshenko laid out for eastern Ukraine. This plan includes amnesty for separatist fighters who lay down arms, and a tightening of control over the Russian-Ukrainian border.

If actualized, Poroshenko’s plan may be the key to facilitating long-overdue peace in Ukraine. Regional tensions are high, due in part to Russia’s decision on Monday to reduce gas supplies to Ukraine in the wake of a failed payment compromise. Nevertheless, Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval has confirmed that the ceasefire “will happen in the next few days.” 

14372331422_88bd1c6bd8_bImage courtesy of Kathrin Mobius / flickr.com.

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