Ceasefire needed for Ukraine negotiations - Russia
23 June 2014, 22:58
Moscow - Russia's foreign ministry on Monday said that a
"durable ceasefire" was needed in eastern Ukraine between government
forces and pro-Moscow rebels before peace negotiations could start.
"At the moment, a durable ceasefire is needed as an
irreversible condition for starting practical steps towards a binding dialogue
between the authorities in Kiev and representatives of protesters in southeast
Ukraine," the ministry said following a phone conversation between Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Ukraine's new Western-backed President Petro Poroshenko
has put in place a week-long unilateral ceasefire but fighting has rumbled on
as pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have refused to heed calls to
silence their guns.
Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin have both
urged dialogue to end the pro-Moscow uprising that has threatened the ex-Soviet
Poroshenko has called a peaceful settlement Kiev's
"plan A", but warned that the Ukrainian authorities will deal with
anyone who uses the negotiations to "buy time and regroup their
Putin has promised to stand behind Poroshenko's peace
efforts as long as they led to "substantial dialogue" and resulted in
ethnic Russians winning broader language and other civil rights.