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.”
Image courtesy of Kathrin Mobius / flickr.com.