News / Europe

    No Reply From Russia or Rebels on Ukrainian-Proposed Peace Talks

    Armed pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic pledge an oath during ceremony in the city of Donetsk, June 21, 2014.
    Armed pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic pledge an oath during ceremony in the city of Donetsk, June 21, 2014.
    VOA News

    There has been no response from Russia or separatist leaders in Ukraine to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's request for a new round of talks on Saturday.

    Poroshenko said he suggested a time and place for the talks during a phone call with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. He said he is waiting for the other side to confirm.

    The EU and United States have threatened Russia with more sanctions if Moscow and the pro-Russian fighters in eastern Ukraine do not take steps to de-escalate the crisis.

    The fighting has picked up since Ukraine ended a unilateral cease-fire earlier this week.

    Ukrainian forces claim they retook a village Friday in the rebel-held region of Slovyansk, one of the hot spots of the fighting.

    Numerous phone calls

    Earlier Friday, Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine in a three-way phone call. 

    Merkel's office said they agreed that a mutual cease-fire is a prerequisite to stabilize the situation and that Kyiv and Moscow must work together to secure the Ukrainian-Russian border. They also called on Russia to "use its influence over the separatists." 

    Merkel discussed the Ukraine crisis with President Barack Obama in a telephone call Thursday.

    The White House said in a statement that the two leaders "stressed that Russia must take immediate steps to de-escalate" the conflict and agreed that the U.S. and Europe "should take further coordinated measures to impose costs on Russia if it does not take steps toward de-escalation in short order." 

    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.

    Last month, separatist leaders met with Ukrainian ex-president Leonid Kuchma as Kyiv's representative. Moscow's ambassador to Kyiv and members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also attended the talks in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

    Cease-fire

    President 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 the resumption of military operations on Tuesday.

    The Ukrainian president told Vice President Joe Biden in a phone conversation Thursday he was ready to return to a cease-fire as soon as it can be confirmed that both sides are observing it. He also said a cease-fire was contingent on all hostages being released and control over the Ukrainian-Russian border being established, with monitoring by the OSCE.

    Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, with the press center of Kyiv's "anti-terrorist operation" reporting that nine Ukrainian servicemen had been killed and 13 wounded in battles with separatist forces on Friday as of 2 p.m. local time.

    Also Friday, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry sent a note of protest to Moscow over what it called "regular gross violations of Ukrainian airspace" by Russia. It detailed what it said were several separate incidents on Thursday in which Russian military helicopters flew over Ukrainian territory

    The secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, Andriy Parubiy, said Friday that if Russian aircraft violate Ukrainian airspace again, they will be shot down.

    Some information for this story was provided by Reuters and AFP.

    • 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.

     

    You May Like

    US, Allies Discuss Next Steps in Islamic State Fight

    Meeting comes a day after US Navy SEAL was killed while fighting Islamic State forces in northern Iraq

    In China, Traditional Banks Fight Challenge From Internet Firms

    Internet companies lent more than $150 billion to customers in 2015, which is an extremely small amount compared to the much larger lending by commercial banks last year

    Trump Faces Tough Presidential Odds Against Clinton

    According to analysts, early indications are that Republican front-runner faces daunting contest against likely Democratic candidate, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora