Ukraine summit agrees on new ceasefire

2015-02-12 12:05
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko during peace meetings in Minsk. (Mykola Lazarenko, AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko during peace meetings in Minsk. (Mykola Lazarenko, AFP)

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Minsk - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday emerged from marathon Ukraine peace talks by announcing a new cease-fire deal, but questions remained whether Ukraine and the pro-Russian rebels have agreed on its terms.

Putin told reporters that the cease-fire will be effective starting from Sunday, but he added that he and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko disagreed on assessing the situation in a key flashpoint.

The government-controlled town of Debaltseve, a key transport hub between the two main rebel-controlled cities in the east, has been the focus of intense fighting in recent weeks as the rebels sought to encircle the Ukrainian troops there.

Putin said that the rebels consider the Ukrainian forces surrounded and expect them to surrender, while Ukraine disagrees with that.

He added that they agreed with Poroshenko to clarify the situation. Putin urged the warring parties to show restraint.

Putin's statement followed the talks brokered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, which dragged for more than 15 hours deep into a second day on Thursday as the four leaders desperately sought to resolve their differences.

The Russian leader said that the peace deal they reached also determines a division line from which heavy weapons will be pulled back and contains provision for providing a special status for the rebellious regions, solving humanitarian issues and settling issues related to border control.

Read more on:    angela merkel  |  petro poroshenko  |  vladimir putin  |  russia  |  ukraine  |  security

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