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Ukrainian president pledges to decide on ceasefire extension in East

June 27, 2014, 15:56 updated at: June 27, 2014, 16:40 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Earlier, a European diplomatic source quoted Petro Poroshenko as saying to the leaders of 28 EU states that he had extended the truce in east Ukraine for three days
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© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

BRUSSELS, June 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The decision on ceasefire extension in the East of Ukraine by 72 hours will be made on Friday upon return from Brussels, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told journalists on Friday in the Belgian capital.

“I need to return and hold consultations with the military and government. The ceasefire will be in force until evening, and the decision will be made by that time,” Poroshenko said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is expected to make an official statement on possible extension of ceasefire in east Ukraine upon his return from Brussels later in the day, Ukrainian parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said on Friday.

“Today is a very important day for Ukraine. It has signed an association agreement with the European Union. The president will announce further actions later in the day,” Turchynov emphasized.

He added that regretfully the people’s militias in East Ukraine had not heeded the Ukrainian authorities’ proposal and continued using arms.

Earlier, a European diplomatic source quoted Petro Poroshenko as saying to the leaders of 28 EU states that he had extended the truce in east Ukraine for three days. The source added, the Ukrainian president assured European leaders that Ukraine's government forces only opened fire if they came under an attack.

Earlier the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council confirmed reports that unilateral ceasefire regime would expire at 10 p.m. local time (19:00 GMT) in eastern Ukraine. Representative of the Ukrainian Security Council’s information center Andrei Lysenko said this at a media briefing on Friday.

“We expect a response from international community. The leadership of our country will take a decision on the issue at a next media briefing at 5 p.m. local time (14:00 GMT) and we will inform you about it,” Lysenko stated.

Kiev’s punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has killed hundreds of people, including civilians, left buildings destroyed and damaged and forced tens of thousands to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.

Poroshenko, who won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine and took office on June 7, on June 20 announced a ceasefire in Ukraine’s Southeast until June 27. He also presented a peace plan to settle the situation in the Southeast during his first working trip to the Donetsk Region.

Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) Prime Minister Alexander Borodai said Monday, June 23, after talks on implementation of Poroshenko’s peace plan, that militias in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast agreed to the ceasefire until June 27.

There have, however, been reports that the ceasefire has been violated many times.

POROSHENKO’S PLAN
  1. “Security guarantees for all participants of the talks”;
  2. “Relief from criminal responsibility for those who laid down arms and did not commit grievous crimes”;
  3. “Liberation of hostages”;
  4. “Creation of a 10 km buffer area on the Russian-Ukrainian state border. Withdrawal of illegal paramilitary groups”;
  5. “Creation of a guaranteed corridor for the withdrawal of Russian and Ukrainian mercenaries”;
  6. “Disarmament (not specified on which side it spreads)”;
  7. “Setting up of units within the Interior Ministry for carrying out joint patrolling”;
  8. “Liberation of illegally captured administrative buildings in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”;
  9. “Resuming of activities of local authorities”;
  10. “Renewal of central television and radio broadcasting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”;
  11. The document also includes steps for “decentralization of power (by electing executive committees, as well as the protection of the Russian language, and draft bill on amendments to the Constitution);
  12. The plan envisages “the approval of the governors’ candidacies with Donbass representatives before the elections”. However, the document specifies that this clause will be observed only in case there is a joint candidacy. In case there are differences in candidacies, the president keeps the last word.
  13. The plan concedes holding “snap local and parliamentary elections” in Ukraine.
  14. The president pledges to develop “a program of creating jobs” in Ukraine’s east;
  15. The country’s leader plans to engage in “restoring industrial and social infrastructure facilities” that were damaged during the crisis in Ukraine.

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