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.

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs