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KIEV, February 5. /TASS/. The United States is ready to pose as a guarantor of peace in south-east Ukraine, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday after talks in Kiev with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Moreover, the US will grant guarantees to Ukraine for getting a loan of $1 billion and will issue one more loan of $1 billion if the incumbent government continues "reforms", John Kerry said.
Ukraine had covered a great distance, Kerry claimed, adding however that Kiev was just at the outset of the painstaking job of reforms.
He added that the US, the IMF and the World Bank were cooperating closely for assuring an economic future for Ukraine.
Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine’s embattled east as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on a ceasefire at talks on September 5, 2014 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Since then, there have been numerous reports of violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day.
The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19, 2014 in Minsk. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.
The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.
A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9, 2014. It was seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities. Both Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics voiced the necessity to start withdrawal of heavy armaments, swap prisoners and demilitarize the region.
The situation in the region deteriorated when a passenger bus bound from Donetsk to Zlatoustovka was shelled on January 13. Twelve civilians were killed and 16 wounded.