Poroshenko says ceasefire plan to be prepared for Ukraine

Tuesday 26 August 2014 22.36
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Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko exchange a firm handshake before entering talks
Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko exchange a firm handshake before entering talks
Vladimir Putin Catherine Ashton, Alexander Lukashenko and Petro Poroshenko at talks in Minsk
Vladimir Putin Catherine Ashton, Alexander Lukashenko and Petro Poroshenko at talks in Minsk
The Kremlin said yesterday that it planned to send a second aid convoy into east Ukraine this week
The Kremlin said yesterday that it planned to send a second aid convoy into east Ukraine this week

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said tonight a "roadmap" would be prepared to agree to a ceasefire as soon as possible in east Ukraine.

His statement followed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Belarusian capital Minsk.             

"A roadmap will be prepared in order to achieve as soon as possible a ceasefire regime which absolutely must be bilateral in character," Mr Poroshenko said after the talk with Mr Putin.

Mr Poroshenko said the multi-lateral talks in Minsk, which included EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the leaders of Kazakhstan and Belarus, were "tough and complex".

Earlier, Mr Poroshenko said effective border controls with Russia, halting arms supplies to rebels and releasing prisoners of war are the only effective ways to end bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.

He said all actors in the region wanted to emerge with dignity from the Ukrainian crisis and that he would listen to all options in a bid to bring peace.

Mr Poroshenko and Mr Putin exchanged a firm handshake before going into the talks.

Fighting has continued between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government troops.

Top European Union officials are also attending along with the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan, both Russian allies, at the talks in the Belarusian capital.

The meeting is the first between Mr Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart in nearly three months.

It comes a day after Mr Poroshenko dissolved the Ukrainian parliament and called snap elections for 26 October.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said her mission at the talks was to ensure the former Soviet republic can safeguard its territorial integrity.

Ms Ashton told the start of the high-level meeting she wanted to "try and support the people of Ukraine to find peace and security, to ensure that they are able to enjoy territoria lintegrity, a future that is economically viable... and growing and good relations with the neighbours".

Ukraine yesterday accused Russian troops of launching an incursion across the border and said its troops had captured ten Russian paratroopers from the 98th airborne division southeast of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

Adding to the tension, the Kremlin said yesterday that it planned to send a second aid convoy into east Ukraine "this week". 

Mr Poroshenko said dissolving parliament was necessary, as many deputies were allies of the militant separatists.

Russian military sources quoted by state agencies said that Russian troops captured by Ukrainian troops and shown on Ukrainian television had crossed the border accidentally.

"The soldiers were really taking part in patrolling a section of the Russian-Ukrainian border, they crossed it most likely by accident, on an unequipped, unmarked section," a defence ministry source was quoted as saying by three Russian news agencies.

The Ukrainian military has disputed this saying they were on a special mission.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military has destroyed 12 armoured infantry carriers in the Novoazovsk area using artillery and aircraft, a military spokesperson has said. 

Andriy Lysenko also said Russian Mi-24 helicopters had attacked a border post in Luhansk region the previous day, killing four border guards.

"Yesterday, during the day, at the border post of Krasnatalovka, Russian Mi-24 helicopters attacked Ukrainian border guards.

As a result of the attack, four guards were killed, three were injured," Mr Lysenko said.