News / Europe

Poroshenko May Be Ready to Resume Cease-fire

FILE - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko makes a televised address in Kyiv, June 30, 2014.
FILE - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko makes a televised address in Kyiv, June 30, 2014.
VOA News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he is ready to resume a cease-fire in his military campaign against pro-Russian separatists if certain conditions are met.

The Ukrainian president's website said Thursday that he discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine in a phone call with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

It quoted Poroshenko as telling Biden he is ready to return to a cease-fire as soon as it can be confirmed that both sides are observing it, and also on condition that all hostages are released and control over the Ukrainian-Russian border is established, with monitoring by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Poroshenko declared a unilateral, week-long cease-fire June 20 and then extended it by three days. Citing lack of cooperation from rebels, he refused a second extension and ordered new military operations on Tuesday.

New defense minister

Earlier Thursday, the president replaced top defense officials, naming Valery Heletey as Ukraine's new defense minister, and Viktor Muzhenko as chief of the military's general staff.

Also Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande discussed the situation in Ukraine during a three-way telephone call.

Hollande’s office said he and Merkel called on Putin “to intervene with the separatists to get them to negotiate and reach an agreement with the Ukrainian authorities.”

The Kremlin said the Russian president “expressed deep concern in connection with the increase in casualties among the civilian population and a sharp increase in the number of refugees from southeastern Ukraine on Russian territory."

  • A military vehicle bearing a Ukrainian flag at a checkpoint near Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine, July 3, 2014.
  • A woman holds a sign a protest against the crisis in eastern Ukraine orgainsed by the Russian communist party in Moscow ,July 3, 2014.
  • Volunteers from the Donbass battalion and Maidan self-defense group stand guard with official security guards outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv, July 3, 2014.
  • Relatives grieve after traffic police officers were attacked by unknown assailants in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, July 3, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian fighters stand patrol near Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, July 2, 2014.
  • Workers remove concrete slabs from a school damaged through attacks, in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, July 2, 2014.
  • People carry their belongings as they walk to cross the border into Russia at the Ukrainian-Russian border checkpoint in Severniy, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, July 2, 2014.
  • Municipal workers remove tires as they dismantle barricades set up during the protests that toppled Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych in central Kyiv, July 1, 2014.
  • A man and his daughter walk to a pumping station to get water in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, July 1, 2014.
  • An armed pro-Russian separatist stands guard at a check point in the Ukrainian eastern city of Slovyansk, July 1, 2014.
  • A woman and children walk past a damaged street market in the Ukrainian eastern city of Slovyansk, July 1, 2014.
  • People collect water at a pumping station in the Ukrainian eastern city of Slovyansk, July 1, 2014.
  • Valery, who gave only his first name, carries his injured cat in front of his damaged house after shelling, in the city of Slovyansk, June 30, 2014.
  • A man looks out of a window of his apartment, which was damaged by shelling, in Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine, June 30, 2014.


EU talks

On Wednesday, the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany met in Berlin and said talks aimed at resuming a cease-fire between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels should begin no later than Saturday.

The diplomats announced their consensus in a statement as fighting raged near the Russian border.  They said the preliminary talks will aim to establish an "unconditional and mutually agreed sustainable cease-fire" monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Wednesday after the Berlin meeting, condemned the Ukrainian leader's decision to end the unilateral cease-fire.  He said that decision cost lives in eastern Ukraine and the "serious destruction of civilian infrastructure."

But he also promised that Moscow would use its influence with separatist leaders to bring about a bilateral truce.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine continued Thursday, with Ukraine’s border guard service reporting that rebel forces shelled the Dolzhansky border post with Russia, which Ukrainian forces took back from the separatists after Kyiv resumed its military operations earlier this week. Nine Ukrainian border guards were wounded in the shelling.

The separatists, for their part, were reported by Russian media as saying Thursday that Ukrainian artillery was shelling the rebel-held cities of Slovyansk, Kramatorsk and surrounding villages.

President Putin -- speaking hours after military operations resumed Tuesday -- repeated his commitment to protect Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine, "using the entire range of available means."

The United States and its European allies accuse Russia of arming the separatists in eastern Ukraine, and have demanded that the Kremlin stop the cross-border flow of fighters and military hardware into eastern Ukraine.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid