News / Europe

Ukraine Separatist Leader: Rebels Will Observe Temporary Cease-fire

Prime minister of self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic,' Alexander Borodai, speaks during a news conference in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 21, 2014.
Prime minister of self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic,' Alexander Borodai, speaks during a news conference in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 21, 2014.
VOA News
A leader of the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine says rebel forces will observe the unilateral cease-fire that President Petro Poroshenko declared Friday as the first step in a broader peace plan.

Alexander Borodai made the announcement in Donetsk, where talks opened Monday between rebel leaders and representatives of the Ukrainian government. Borodai, prime minister of the separatists' self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, said the rebels' cease-fire would last until Friday, the same day the government's week-long cease-fire is set to end. He said his side would engage in further talks to end the crisis.

Among those reportedly participating in the Donetsk talks are former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma; Russia's Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov; and Viktor Medvedchuk, chairman of the pro-Russian political organization Ukrainian Choice and a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The talks also include representatives of the separatist Luhansk People's Republic and a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Former president Kuchma is representing the current Ukrainian president in the talks, Poroshenko's office said Monday.

On Saturday, the Kremlin quoted Putin as calling for political compromise in Ukraine, saying a peace deal should ensure the rights of all Russian-speaking people in Ukraine's east.
 
Poroshenko's cease-fire declaration - rejected by separatist leaders - ordered Ukrainian forces to halt all operations for seven days. But he said the order did not mean Ukrainian troops would not fight back if attacked. The Kremlin said Saturday that the Russian leader supported the cease-fire.
 
Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a tense standoff since late February, when Ukrainian protesters forced their Russian-backed president to flee the country after months of anti-government demonstrations in Kyiv.

Obama calls on Putin

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said Putin discussed the Ukraine crisis with President Barack Obama on Monday by telephone. It said the Russian president stressed the need for "a real cessation of hostilities and the start of direct negotiations between the opposing sides."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that "the president spoke to President Putin and once again urged him to support peace instead of allowing the provision of arms and materiel across the border and continuing support for militants and separatists who are further destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.''

The White House said Obama told Putin Russia will face additional costs if there are no concrete actions to de-escalate the Ukraine situation.

The U.S. has already threatened sanctions on Russia's financial, defense and high-tech industries as more Russian military equipment has flowed into Ukraine, and has stepped up talks with Europe over imposing similar measures.

Click here to read about Vice President Biden's phone call to President Poroshenko Sunday.
 
EU sanctions

Earlier Monday, European foreign ministers threatened to impose further sanctions on Russia if it fails to comply with  Poroshenko's peace plan.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said European Union leaders will be ready to decide on wider sanctions at a summit in Brussels on Friday.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said there are "no signs" Moscow is preventing armed fighters and weapons, including tanks, from being sent from Russia to the separatists in eastern Ukraine. He accused Russia of conducting "a propaganda war with full speed ahead."

In a joint statement, the EU foreign ministers called on Putin to pull back Russian forces from the Ukrainian border.

The EU and the United States have thus far refrained from imposing economic sanctions more broadly on the Russian economy and instead relied on the specific sanctions that were imposed against certain individuals and companies after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Poroshenko's cease-fire declaration - initially rejected by separatist leaders - ordered Ukrainian forces to halt all but defensive operations for seven days. The Kremlin said Saturday that Putin supports the cease-fire.

Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a tense standoff since late February, when Ukrainian protesters forced then-president Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country after months of anti-government demonstrations in Kyiv.

WATCH: Related report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke
UN Security Council Meets On Ukrainei
X
June 24, 2014 4:12 AM
As the United Nations Security Council prepares to meet on Ukraine Tuesday morning, the Ukrainian government has reached an agreement with pro-Russian separatists on a temporary cease-fire. And Russian President Vladimir Putin is accused of sending mixed signals regarding Ukrainian peace efforts. Zlatica Hoke has more.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 23, 2014 8:54 AM
To impose sanctions on the United States, because they have not been able to establish a democratic regime in Iraq after receiving Obama peace prize

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid