News / Europe

Russian FM: Ukraine Should Heed Putin's Cease-fire Plan

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) welcomes Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland before their meeting in Moscow, September 4, 2014.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) welcomes Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland before their meeting in Moscow, September 4, 2014.
VOA News

Russia said it is ready to take practical steps to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine in line with a cease-fire plan outlined by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow hopes the plan will be heeded in Ukraine and in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. 

He said Russia is ready to take practical steps toward de-escalation together with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The foreign minister made his remarks at a meeting Thursday with OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva.

Luhansk and Donetsk are both controlled by pro-Russian rebels seeking autonomy from Ukrainian rule.

However, NATO’s secretary-general dismissed Putin’s seven-step plan to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, as alliance leaders gathered in Britain for their first summit in two years.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen derided Putin’s approach as a “so-called peace plan," adding that  what counts is what is happening on the ground in eastern Ukraine, where the West says Russian troops are fighting with separatists against the Ukrainian military. Russia denies the charge.

Mistral helicopters

Also Thursday, Russian said it believes France will fulfill a contract to deliver two Mistral helicopter carriers, Industry Minister Denis Manturov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

“Russia assumes that the contract will be fulfilled according to the agreements,” he was quoted as saying.

French President Francois Hollande's office said on Wednesday that Paris would not deliver the first of the two helicopter carriers for now because of Moscow's actions in eastern Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Putin had unveiled a 7-point plan to halt the separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. It calls for a large-scale Ukrainian military pullback in the Russian-speaking east and the deployment of international monitors.

President Putin said his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, agrees with the 7-point plan.

Poroshenko released a statement that avoided direct reference to details in Putin's announcement. But he acknowledged talks with the Russian leader on ending what he called "this terrible process," saying "there is no denying that people must stop dying."

Truce talks on Friday

The two leaders spoke by phone on Wednesday. They said they hoped that truce talks would advance on Friday, when envoys from Moscow, Kyiv, the separatist movement and the OSCE resume talks in Belarus.

The rebellion in eastern Ukraine, launched in April by pro-Russian separatists, has killed more than 2,600 people and created tens of thousands of refugees fleeing areas near the Russian border.

Rebels dug in near the eastern cities of Luhansk and Donetsk -- bolstered by what analysts say is new Russian aid -- have made rapid advances in recent days, routing Ukrainian forces near the border and creating chaos in outlying communities.

Russia has consistently denied the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine, while rebel leaders say Russian soldiers have been volunteering vacation time to battle Ukrainian troops on Ukrainian soil.

Al Pessin contributed to this report from Wales, some material for this report came from Reuters.

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Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: France
September 04, 2014 6:31 AM
So,what do we have? We have flows of billions dollars into Russia's economy which EU pays for Russia's gas. Russia does not hide its intention to boost up its military power selling gas to EU it has money to do that. EU instead,pays enormous cash to aggressor and now is going to spend much more to improve its military to balance military power with Russia. Isn't it better to no buy gas in Russia and make it weak? Then we prevent spending on military and prevent maybe a war?


by: davidburton from: nottingham,england.
September 04, 2014 6:04 AM
""there are only two ways this situation can be resolved, russia will attempt the total take over of this country or nato will put troops on the ground!!!, "it is that simple, but if nato puts troops on the ground they had better be damned good or it could be a blood bath for the west!!"".


by: QUOC TUAN from: Vietnam
September 04, 2014 5:29 AM
It is high time for Ukraine to stop fighting and bloodshed. Russia and Western countries are only foreigners. The Ukranians must stop killing each other for those foreigners. whether you speak Ukrainian of Russian, you are of the same nation. Pls treat each other with love rather than hatred. Never let the outsiders turn brothers and friends into enemies. Your brother may be not good enough but he is still your brother. You cannot kill him to make the foreigners your brothers instead.
It is high time to get united not devided. To do so you have to sacrify some of your own interests to serve your brothers's ones.


by: Michael from: S-Pb
September 04, 2014 5:09 AM
If the EU and the United States blamed Russia for the crisis in Ukraine, then perhaps they need to follow the plan. And if not, then who is guilty?

In Response

by: to add from: and specify
September 04, 2014 6:12 AM
Perhaps they need to suggest and fulfil their own plan.
So far their plan is to insist Russia to do something in their interest.

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