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SINGAPORE, December 9. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday at the moment the so-called silence regime in eastern Ukraine has not been violated.
“A door for dialogue is still open,” Poroshenko said, while asserting that “peace in Ukraine will be possible if the pressure on Russia continues along with sanctions.”
President Poroshenko is currently in Singapore where he gives a lecture on the crisis in Ukraine and how it is a test for Europe and the world. The event has been organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, headquartered in London.
The ‘day of silence” in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT).
Poroshenko announced plans to introduce a moratorium on combat actions on December 4. This proposal was welcomed by the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
The head of the Donetsk republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said the ceasefire had been declared as far back as September 5 at a meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
“We didn’t violate it on a single occasion,” he said. “All the violations have been committed by the Ukrainian Army. If the Ukrainian side doesn’t open fire, we won’t open it either.”
Andrey Lysenko, an official spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council, said the goal of the “day of silence” was to kick-start the fulfilling of the Minsk agreements — that is, to begin the pullback of heavy weaponry, to release prisoners, to clear minefields, and to begin demilitarization of the region.
Representatives of the so-called Joint Center for the Ceasefire are due to meet later on Tuesday. The sides are expected to sign a "technical document" defining a clear pattern of the withdrawal of heavy weaponry.