Ukraine Talks to Putin, Proposes Ceasefire

President poised for unilateral move; expects rebels to follow
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 18, 2014 5:03 AM CDT
Ukrainian troops escort men detained at a battle site to a bus in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Friday, June 13, 2014.   (AP Photo/Osman Karimov, pool)

(Newser) – Ukraine's new president talked to Vladimir Putin last night, and today, Petro Poroshenko appears ready for a ceasefire, the New York Times reports. Poroshenko says he'll order the unilateral move once the border is secure; he believes "all illegal military units" will follow suit, per Russian and Ukrainian reports. During their call, "the presidents of Ukraine and Russia discussed a number of priority measures to be taken for a sustainable ceasefire, and the effective ways of monitoring it," Ukraine says in a statement.

The ceasefire could come within "hours or days," a Ukrainian presidential rep tells the BBC. Poroshenko today told graduating students that a "brief" agreement would give "Russian mercenaries" a chance to leave the country. He discussed a 14-step plan involving amnesty for separatist fighters, Reuters reports. "The plan will start with my order for a unilateral ceasefire," he said. "Immediately after this, we need very quickly to get support for the peace plan ... from all participants." Russia's foreign minister has previously suggested that separatists would likely halt violence given an end to Ukraine's military action, the Times notes. (Read more Russia stories.)

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