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Ukraine’s President terminates ceasefire in much-troubled southeastern regions

He claimed he would be ready to resume it if all the side observed provisions of his peace plan

KIEV, July 1 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared termination of the ceasefire regime in the much-troubled southeast regions of the country, Donetsk and Luhansk. Along with it, he claimed he would be ready to resume it if all the side observed provisions of his peace plan.

“The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine held a session at night June 30,” Poroshenko said in an address to the nation. “Following a discussion of the situation, as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief I took a decision to refrain from prolonging the unilateral ceasefire regime.”

He apportioned blame for the disruption of ceasefire to the leaders of the East-Ukrainian self-defence forces, claiming that they had demonstrated “unwillingness to support the peace plan on the whole and the ceasefire provision, among other things.”

Poroshenko insisted that the defense of Ukraine’s territorial integrity “requires, on top of defensive actions, an offense as well.”

“Ukraine’s Armed Forces, the national guard, the state border service and the security service have received the appropriate orders,” the address said. “They are no longer restricted by the ceasefire regime in their efforts to implement the tasks related to assuring (Ukraine’s) territorial integrity.”

“We’ll press forward and we’ll continue free our homeland,” he said.

Poroshenko said, however, that Kiev was ready to revert to the ceasefire regime “at any moment” - “when we see that all the sides support provisions of the peace plan.”

Among the conditions conducive to a resumption of ceasefire, Poroshenko named, in part, “the supervision over borders by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”

He once again meted out a promise to exempt “those who chose to put up armed resistance to the legitimate power but have recognized their error and willing to rectify it” from criminal prosecution.

“The only condition is to lay down arms voluntarily,” Poroshenko said.

He also passed a comment on the decision of the upper house of Russian parliament to call off the March 1, 2014, resolution that gave the Russian President an opportunity to dispatch the Armed Forces to the territory of Ukraine.

“We did not see any concrete steps towards de-escalating the situation in the final run,” Poroshenko alleged.