News / Europe

Ukraine, Russian Envoys Reach 'Mutual Understanding' on Parts of Peace Plan

An armed pro-Russian separatist with attached orange ribbon of St. George, a symbol widely associated with pro-Russian protests in Ukraine, stands guard at a road checkpoint outside the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk, June 8, 2014.
An armed pro-Russian separatist with attached orange ribbon of St. George, a symbol widely associated with pro-Russian protests in Ukraine, stands guard at a road checkpoint outside the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk, June 8, 2014.
VOA News
Ukraine's foreign ministry says it has reached a "mutual understanding" with Russia on key stages of a peace plan for eastern Ukraine.

A ministry statement Monday offered no details, after a second day of negotiations in Kyiv mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  

But the statement said the contact group has agreed to continue talks aimed at ending fighting in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine.

The talks follow a face-to-face meeting last week between Russian President Vladimir Putin and new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - the first high-level contact between the two governments since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in March.

Since Poroshenko's May 25 election, Ukraine forces have strengthened military operations aimed at regaining control of key government facilities seized by pro-Russian separatists near the Russian border.  Casualties have mounted on both sides, and the Ukrainian leader has demanded an immediate withdrawal of Russian support for the rebellion.

In his inaugural address Saturday, Poroshenko insisted that Crimea is and will remain Ukrainian.  But he also pledged to establish dialogue in the Russian-speaking east aimed at easing political and ethnic tensions.  Moscow has demanded such talks as the basis for any future bilateral cooperation.

In other developments, Ukrainian and Russian energy negotiators met late Monday in Brussels in a push to resolve a natural gas dispute that threatens supplies to energy-dependent Ukraine.

Moscow last month threatened to cut off supplies as early as Tuesday, if Ukraine does not pay its existing multi-billion dollar energy debt.  Kyiv has since made partial payments, while both governments have voiced cautious optimism a pricing deal on future deliveries can be reached.
 
  • A pro-Russian fighter checks documents of a woman leaving the city at a checkpoint in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, June 12, 2014.
  • A man carries his belongings from an apartment building damaged from shelling in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, June 12, 2014.
  • Maidan self-defence activists take part in a protest outside the headquarters of the National Border Guard in Kyiv, June 12, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian fighters from a group that calls itself "Russian Orthodox Army" guard at a check point in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 10, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian fighter from a group that calls itself "Russian Orthodox Army" guards at a check point in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 10, 2014.
  • Orthodox clergymen take part in a prayer for peace in front of a cathedral in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk, June 9, 2014.
  • People carry their belongings using a bicycle as they leave Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, June 9, 2014.
  • A resident shows an apartment building damaged by a mortar attack by Ukrainian government troops in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, June 9, 2014.
  • A woman walks past a gas station damaged by a mortar attack by Ukrainian government troops in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, June 9, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian man tries to remove a Ukrainian national emblem from the gates to the city administration headquarters in Luhansk, Ukraine, June 9, 2014.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs