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NATO lauds ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine

The Alliance continues monitoring the situation and welcomes all initiatives on ceasing fire

BRUSSELS, June 22 /ITAR-TASS/. NATO lauds the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s peace plan.

The Alliance continues monitoring the situation and welcomes all initiatives on ceasing fire, a NATO official told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

The situation in Ukraine and relations with Russia will be one of the priority issues of the upcoming NATO Council session at the level of foreign ministers scheduled for June 24-25.

Poroshenko announced a ceasefire in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast from 22:00 local time (23:00 Moscow Time, or 19:00 GMT) on Friday, June 20, until 10:00 local time on June 27.

During his first working trip to the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk Region, he presented a peace plan to settle the situation in Ukraine’s troubled east.

The plan consisting of 15 items envisions “security guarantees for all participants of talks, relief from criminal responsibility for those who laid down arms and had not committed serious crimes and release of hostages.”

However, Poroshenko said that “in case an armed attack is made on Ukrainian units or civilians, the military will open return fire”.

The plan envisages creation of units at the Interior Ministry for "joint patrolling".

It also calls for "vacating illegally seized administrative buildings in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions", "resumption of activities of local bodies of power" and "renewed central television and radio broadcasting in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions".

The document envisages steps for decentralization of power (election of executive committees), protection of the Russian language and changes to the Constitution.

The plan provides for "an agreement on governors before elections with Donbass representatives", stipulating that it will be in force only when there is one candidacy. If there are disagreements, the president has the right for a final decision.

It allows holding early local and parliamentary elections.

The last two points refer to the social sphere. The president pledges to work out a programme to create jobs in the east of Ukraine and restore the industrial and social infrastructure seriously damaged or destroyed during the crisis in the country.