News / Europe

Ukraine's President Promises Peace Plan, Ceasefire

President Petro Poroshenko presides over a meeting of Ukraine's security council in Kyiv June 16, 2014.
President Petro Poroshenko presides over a meeting of Ukraine's security council in Kyiv June 16, 2014.
VOA News
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says he will put forward a detailed peace plan that will include a ceasefire in the government's battle with pro-Russian separatists.
 
Opening a meeting the country's national security council in Kyiv, Poroshenko said Monday he would roll out the peace plan this week, and that a ceasefire would be proposed "as the beginning" of the plan's implementation.
 
He said the plan would include changes to the country's constitution that would de-centralize power - a key demand of many government opponents in eastern Ukraine.

Poroshenko says he has ordered the army to take "decisive actions" this week to regain control of the Ukrainian-Russian frontier.

He also said Ukrainian troops have regained control of a little more than 10 percent of the border, and that checkpoints are in place aimed at stopping the flow of Russian military hardware into his country.
 
Poroshenko's comments followed an announcement by Russian energy giant Gazprom that it is cutting natural gas supplies to Ukraine after Kyiv missed a deadline to pay nearly $2 billion of its outstanding debt.
 
Gazprom said Ukraine must now pay in advance for any natural gas.
 
Also Monday, Gazprom filed a lawsuit in a Stockholm arbitration court to try to recover what it says is Ukraine's entire $4.5 billion debt.
 
  • Pro-Russian troops prepare to travel in a tank on a road near the town of Yanakiyevo, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, June 20, 2014.
  • People carry their belongings as they walk to cross the border into Russia at the Ukrainian-Russian border checkpoint in Izvaryne, eastern Ukraine, June 20, 2014.
  • A man examines a destroyed building after fighting between Ukrainian and pro-Russian fighters in the city of Artyomovsk, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, June 20, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian fighters wave a white flag to start a handover of the bodies of Ukrainian troops killed in a plane shot down near Luhansk, at a check point in the village of Karlivka near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 18, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian fighters wait for representatives of the Ukrainian troops at a checkpoint in the village of Karlivka for the handover of the bodies of Ukrainian troops who died in a plane shot down near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 18, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a check-point as a car drives past outside Luhansk, Ukraine, June 18, 2014.
  • Miners, one of them carrying a sign with the name of the mine Trudovskaya, march in support of peace in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 18, 2014.
  • Residents collect water at a pumping station in the eastern Ukranian city of Slovyansk, June 17, 2014.
  • A woman walks past portraits of protesters who were killed in clashes with police in February in Independence Square in Kyiv, June 18, 2014.
  • People take part in a rally to press demands for parliament to be dissolved and early elections outside the assembly in Kyiv, June 17, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian fighters walk past remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.

In Kyiv, Ukraine’s prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, angrily rejected the Russian position. Speaking hours after negotiators failed to reach a gas deal, he accused Moscow of using the issue as part of its larger designs on Ukraine.

“This is not about gas. This is part of Russia’s plan to destroy Ukraine. This is all but the next stage in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its independence,”Yatsenyuk said.

Ukraine filed a suit of its own against Gazprom in Stockholm.
 
Ukraine is a conduit for gas supplies to other parts of Europe.  Gazprom notified European countries that shipments through Ukraine will not be affected, but warned there could be a disruption if Ukraine decides to siphon off the gas.  A Gazprom spokesman said Ukraine's state-owned Naftogaz is obliged to make sure the gas reaches its European customers.
 
Europe gets about one-third of its natural gas from Russia, half of which flows through pipelines across Ukraine.
 
Russia and Ukraine have been embroiled in the energy dispute since April when Moscow nearly doubled the price of gas to Ukraine to $480 per 1,000 cubic meters.  Russia has since offered about a 20 percent discount, but Kyiv negotiators have sought a deeper price cut, closer to the original price.
 
Ukrainian officials say the country has almost 14 billion cubic meters of gas in underground storage, which is enough to meet its needs until December.
 
Sunday's energy talks began as Ukraine concluded a national day of mourning for 49 Ukrainian service members who were killed when their military transport plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine.
 
Ukraine's defense ministry said the plane was trying to land in Luhansk early Saturday morning when it was downed by pro-Russian separatists.

Some reporting by Reuters, AP and AFP.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid