Ukraine President Unveils 10Km "No Man's Land" Buffer With Russia; Declares Unilateral Cease-Fire
UPDATE: Not going well... UKRAINE REBELS SAY WON'T DISARM UNTIL KIEV WITHDRAWS TROOPS:AFP
Petro Poroshenko earlier called Russia's Vladmimir Putin to explain his 14-point plan (to be unveiled to the public later today) to curb the pro-Russia insurgency in the east. As AFP reports:
- UKRAINE PRESIDENT SAYS UNILATERAL CEASEFIRE TO BEGIN TODAY TO JUNE 27
- Ukraine peace plan to call for 10-km buffer zone on Russia border
As Reuters notes, it was not clear if the whole of the proposed demilitarized no-man's land would be on Ukraine's side of the border or part of it on the Russian side. It was also not clear what the status of people living in border areas would be. Putin's initial response is to demand the "immediate end to military operations" against pro-Russian separatists.
President Petro Poroshenko will call for the creation of a 10-km (6.25-mile) buffer zone on the border with Russia under a 14-point plan to bring peace to east Ukraine, according to an unofficial copy published by media on Friday.
Ukraine says fighters from Russia and supplies of guns and other military equipment have been coming into the country to support pro-Russian separatists, and tightening control of the 1,900-km (1,190-mile) border is Ukraine's main security headache.
Details of the proposal to create a 10-km buffer zone, contained in a photographed copy of the 14-point plan and carried in Ukrainian media, were not spelled out.
It was not clear if the whole of the proposed demilitarized no-man's land would be on Ukraine's side of the border or part of it on the Russian side. It was also not clear what the status of people living in border areas would be.
Acting Defence Minister Mykhailo Koval told parliament on Friday that government forces were now back in control of the border and there was now no possibility of military equipment being ferried in to the rebels from Russia.
Ukraine's new President Petro Poroshenko on Friday released a 14-point peace plan to curb a pro-Russian insurgency in the east, calling for immediate disarmament and promising to decentralise power through constitutional reform.
The plan also drops criminal charges against rebels who committed no "serious crimes" and provides "a guaranteed corridor for Russian and Ukrainian mercenaries to leave" the conflict zone, Kiev's private Inter TV station reported on its website.
Earlier Poroshenko called Russia's Vladimir Putin to discuss the plan to end the bloodshed, the second late night phone conversation between the leaders this week, the Kremlin said.
"Poroshenko informed the Russian head of state regarding the main points of his plan to regulate the situation in south-east Ukraine," the Kremlin said in a statement overnight Thursday.
Putin gave "a series of comments" on the plan stressing an "immediate end to the military operation" that was launched by Kiev against pro-Russian separatist militia in Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Let's hope the cease-fire lasts more than minutes... or is this simply another way to ensnare Russia and force US/EU hands to enforce the sanctions they have been threatening. It seems the argument over where the "no man's land" starts and ends will be a non-starter.
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