Poroshenko sworn in as Ukraine's president

2014-06-07 10:58
President Petro Poroshenko.

President Petro Poroshenko.

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Kiev - Petro Poroshenko took the oath of office as Ukraine's president on Saturday, assuming leadership of a country mired in a violent uprising and economic troubles.

Poroshenko has promised a comprehensive plan to put an end to the hostilities as soon as he takes office, including an amnesty to the rebels and an offer of early regional elections in the east.

He assumed power a day after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at D-Day commemoration ceremonies in France.

Poroshenko first asked a packed session of parliament to pay a minute's silence for the 100 people killed in three days of carnage in Kiev that led to the ouster of Ukraine's Kremlin-backed regime.

He then vowed to give an amnesty to any insurgents who had "no blood on their hands" as the first step in a peace initiative designed to save the nation of 46 million, which has already lost its Crimea peninsula to Russian annexation, from splintering along ethnic lines.

"I am assuming the presidency in order to preserve and strengthen Ukraine's unity," Poroshenko said in an address that alternated between Ukrainian and Russia.

But he also added that he would never accept Russia's seizure of Crimea or attempts to divert his pro-European course.

"Crimea will remain a part of Ukraine," Poroshenko said firmly.

"This is the moment of truth. It is up to us to decide our future."

- AP
Read more on:    petro poroshenko  |  russia  |  ukraine
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