News / Europe

Report: Putin, Poroshenko Discuss Cease-Fire Following Pipeline Blast

FILE - A general view of the gas production and transporting station on a gas-field near the Ukrainian city Poltava, some 330 km east of the capital Kyiv 04 January 2006.
FILE - A general view of the gas production and transporting station on a gas-field near the Ukrainian city Poltava, some 330 km east of the capital Kyiv 04 January 2006.
VOA News
The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone Tuesday with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko about a possible cease-fire in southeastern Ukraine.

No details were released, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Putin also voiced concern over the deaths Tuesday of two Russian state journalists near the Ukrainian city of Luhansk. Peskov said Ukraine has promised to investigate the deaths. Regional news reports say the journalists died when their car was hit by mortar fire near the rebel-held city.

The top-level discussion is only the second known direct contact between leaders of the two countries since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March.

Pipeline explosion

The call followed an explosion in central Ukraine's Poltava region Tuesday hit a section of the largest transit pipeline for Russian natural gas to western Europe, in what one Ukrainian official said may have been a terrorist act.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said several theories for the cause of the explosion were being considered, the main one being that it was "a terrorist act." He said local residents heard two loud blasts just before the section of pipeline burst into flames, suggesting a "deliberate" act.

Local officials quoted eyewitnesses as saying they saw flames from the fire reaching up to 200 meters. No one was hurt in the incident.

Avakov said Ukrainian authorities last month thwarted two attempted attacks against Ukraine's gas pipeline system in western Ukraine.

The Reuters news agency quoted a source at Gazprom, Russia's state-run natural gas company, as saying that blast had not disrupted the flow of gas thanks to a "parallel pipeline."

Tuesday's blast took place hundreds of kilometers away from eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces and have declared two so-called "people's republics."

On Monday, Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in a pricing dispute.

The pipeline explosion took place amid reports of continuing violence in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian media reported Tuesday that separatists were using heavy artillery to shell Ukrainian army units in the Luhansk region.

A Russian state television reporter (Igor Kornelyuk) was killed Tuesday in the Luhansk fighting, apparently as the result of mortar fire. His sound engineer was reported missing.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the reporter's death proved "the criminal nature of the forces who unleashed the punitive operation in eastern Ukraine."

Meanwhile, Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday appealed to foreign journalist organizations to counter what it called "acts of media provocation" and unverified information being disseminated by the Russian press.

The appeal, which was addressed to groups including Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists, accused Russia of spreading "false, incomplete and biased information about Ukraine" as part of a "coordinated and targeted information war."

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Comment Sorting
by: Sunny Enwerem from: Abeokuta Nigeria
June 18, 2014 6:06 AM
The Reuters news agency quoted a source at Gazprom, Russia's state-run natural gas company, as saying that blast had not disrupted the flow of gas thanks to a "parallel pipeline."..........this is a clear treat from Russia on any form of sanction,the EU are clearly toothless against Russia except they plan to freeze.

by: Igor from: Russia
June 18, 2014 4:46 AM
The Western media, which always considers itself a trusted source of information, continues to cover up the barbaric and inhuman of those in power in Kiev against innocent civilians and journalists. They are always trying to avoid covering facts that show the brutality of their new ally, even the dirty and uneducated words of its foreign minister.
In Response

by: becksk8
June 18, 2014 10:20 AM
I am in Ukraine now, my wife is Ukrainian, my children have 3 passports. I have been here for 3 weeks this trip, visited not only Kiev, but also south eastern Ukraine, the azov sea with my family. Its great here, friendly and happy people. You my friend are unfortuneatley being lied to on an hourly basis by your leader and the Russian media. Its not the western media that is reporting accurately, its the entire world that is telling it like it is.

Just yesterday the United Nations came to the conclusion that there are NO human rights violations happening in Ukraine. You seem to be able to speak English unlike most Russian people which is a great benefit for you. You should have no difficulty finding accurate information on the internet on what is actually happening.

Your government is the biggest enemy towards the Russian people, You deserve better, it is sad.. I have been to Russia many times, probably seen more of the country than most Russians have in fact. Is saddens me to see the neglected infrastructure, the poverty and the enormous social disparities. Ukraine is lucky, they are now on the path away from the corrupt Russian system and joining not the west, but the fraternity of free nations. Next election I suggest you vote for change.

by: Lev Havryliv from: Sydney
June 18, 2014 1:37 AM
The treatment of Ukrainian issues in the state-controlled Russian media is scandalously distorted. There are examples of outright lies, fake videos and deliberate disinformation which amount to a mendacious propaganda campaign.

This particularly the case when dealing with events in east Ukraine.

by: BeckSk8 from: Sweden
June 18, 2014 1:03 AM
This is awesome news! Europe needs to understand that it will not be business as usual and that they can not depend on stable fuel delivery as long as they allow Russia to be the aggressor. My bet is this will not be the last attack on the Ukrainian pipeline, in addition other pipelines in Belarus and the new pipline´under construction in Serbia and Bulgaria are also at risk.
In Response

by: great ukr from: RF
June 18, 2014 9:30 AM
Let us build a pipeline through Sweden-there would be no risk. Serbia and Bulgaria and that it is not the EU? That is scary to have the pipeline in these countries. Insanity such reasoning is sizzling hot!
In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
June 18, 2014 5:55 AM
Why do you know that Russian media is lying? You have just returned from Ukraine or you have heard it from Western media???

by: Joseph Effiong from: Calabar - nigeria
June 17, 2014 11:11 PM
All the violence in Ukraine is masterminded by russia. The gas pipeline explosion is coordinated by russia so that Ukraine will be blamed.

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