Ukrainian rebel leader announces unilateral cease-fire

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin

The leaders of Germany and France helped negotiate a February 2015 peace agreement that was supposed to end fighting and decide the status of the rebel-run regions by the end of a year ago. However what had been a state of war seemed to morph into a low-grade conflict that nonetheless continued to claim lives on both sides. Please click the button below to manage your account.

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Ukraine says no meaningful peace talks can be held with the rebels until the government regains control of the eastern portion of its porous border with Russian Federation, which it accuses Moscow of using to supply the separatists with weapons and active troops.

“We understand that to implement the Minsk agreements, to force Russian Federation to implement them, we need a clear idea of the sequence of steps and guarantees of their implementation from Russian Federation”, he said.

The announcements come a few hours after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that he expects the parliament to vote soon on constitutional amendments granting autonomy to eastern Ukraine. One more person was reported missing.

“Military units of Donetsk People’s Republic do not consider it as a weakness rather than a demonstration of a good will”, Zakharchenko said, according to Ruptly TV, a news agency funded by the Russian government.

Ahead of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting to discuss a next tranche for Ukraine on 14 September, Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov announced he is planning to meet next month with his Ukrainian counterpart for talks on Kiev’s multi-billion-dollar bond default.

The president’s office also announced that Poroshenko would be meeting with the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Britain and Poland on Wednesday.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that moves toward a ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and separatists gave a “sliver of hope” and that the next steps in the Minsk peace process could be agreed next week.

Darka Olifer, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian envoy at the talks with the separatists, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the representatives at the talks, conducted via a video link on Tuesday, supported the idea of a cease-fire.