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Ukraine president pledges ceasefire in separatist east

Published on Jun 18, 2014 6:57 PM
 
A house damaged by fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists is seen in the eastern Ukranian city of Slaviansk on June 16, 2014. Ukraine's new President Petro Poroshenko announced on Wednesday that he would soon order a unilateral ceasefire in the separatist east to help end the 10-week pro-Russian insurgency. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine's new President Petro Poroshenko announced on Wednesday that he would soon order a unilateral ceasefire in the separatist east to help end the 10-week pro-Russian insurgency.

He took a further step toward relieving tensions with Russia by deciding to replace acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya - a hate figure in Moscow - with his current envoy to ongoing OSCE-mediate negotiations with the Kremlin.

But the Western-backed leader also appealed for US and EU help to secure his crisis-torn country's porous border with Russia and stem the influx of arms and militants into the conflict zone.

"The peace plan begins with my order for a unilateral ceasefire," the Interfax-Ukraine news agency quoted Poroshenko as saying.

 
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