Kiev, militia agree on ceasefire

Kiev officials and representatives of the two self-proclaimed republics in southeastern Ukraine have agreed to a ceasefire, as the contact group met behind closed doors in Belarus.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has confirmed the ceasefire agreement on his Twitter account.

The truce agreement comes into force starting 6 pm local time (15:00 GMT).

The president has ordered to cease fire starting at the time stated in the protocol.

“I give the order to the chief of the General staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to cease fire, starting from 18.00 [local time] on September 5,” Poroshenko’s statement says.

Poroshenko then called on both the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the OSCE to provide international monitoring of compliance with the bilateral ceasefire.

“We must do everything possible and impossible to stop bloodshed and put an end to people’s suffering,” the president said in a statement posted on his official website.

Poroshenko expressed hope that both sides would comply with the ceasefire agreement.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic earlier confirmed the ceasefire agreement on its official Twitter account.

Both Donetsk and Lugansk have said they are ready to lay down arms starting from 15:00GMT.

Representatives of the rebel forces have said they will obey the ceasefire if Kiev follows suit.

“Most of the points of the protocol correspond with our demands,” Lugansk’s leader Igor Plotnitsky said.

“However, the ceasefire does not mean a shift from our course of breaking away from Ukraine. This is a compulsory measure,” he said.

The OSCE’s Heidi Tagliavini has welcomed the agreement saying “it is good news.”

She has revealed that the protocol consists of 12 points, and “the ceasefire is the chief one.”

The participants in the talks will prepare another document – a memorandum on settling the situation in Ukraine, a Donetsk representative said.

The two sides accompanied by representatives of Russia and the OSCE were meeting in the Belorussian capital, Minsk, in an attempt to end the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.

In their recent phone call on September 3, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko, showed a willingness to find an agreement to resolve the months-long conflict in the southeastern Ukraine.

Following the conversation with his counterpart, President Putin laid out a seven-point plan that could help find a solution.

Source: RT