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Putin, Poroshenko laud ceasefire in eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday welcomed the ceasefire in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.

In a telephone conversation, the two presidents "expressed mutual satisfaction with the fact that the ceasefire has been generally observed by the parties to the conflict", the presidential press service said.

Putin and Poroshenko stressed the importance of monitoring by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and also discussed humanitarian assistance to the embattled Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

The presidents discussed the situation in Ukraine in light of Friday's Contact Group meeting which adopted a protocol on a peaceful settlement in the south-east of Ukraine.

They also exchanged opinions on the consequences of Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union for the Customs Union member states - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Putin and Poroshenko agreed to continue their dialogue, the presidential press service said.

On September 3, Putin Putin proposed a peace plan for settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine. It calls for ending active offensive operations by armed forces, armed units and militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas; withdrawing Ukrainian armed forces units to a distance that would make it impossible to fire on populated areas using artillery and all types of multiple launch rocket systems; allowing for full and objective international monitoring of compliance with the ceasefire and monitoring of the situation in the safe zone created by the ceasefire.

The plan also suggests excluding all use of military aircraft against civilians and populated areas in the conflict zone; organising the exchange of individuals detained by force on an 'all for all' basis without any preconditions; opening humanitarian corridors for refugees and for delivering humanitarian cargoes to towns and populated areas in Donbass - Donetsk and Lugansk regions; and making it possible for repair brigades to come to damaged settlements in the Donbass region in order to repair and rebuild social facilities and life-supporting infrastructure and help the region to prepare for the winter.

At its meeting in Minsk, Belarus, on Friday, the Contact Group on the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine adopted a peace plan and a ceasefire agreement.

Attending the meeting were officials from Kiev, representatives of the embattled south-eastern regions of Ukraine, officials from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Russia.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 06Sep14]

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