Putin outlines ceasefire plan to settle Ukraine crisis
Updated: 2014-09-04 08:09
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a signing ceremony with his Mongolian counterpart Tsakhia Elbegdorj (not pictured) at the national parliament building in Ulan Bator, Sept 3, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a seven-point plan on Wednesday to stop military clashes in southeast Ukraine, which have claimed over 2,600 lives since March.
The Kremlin press service, citing Putin's remarks to reporters during a visit to Mongolia, has posted the plan on its official website as follows.
The plan calls for an end to active offensive operations by armed forces and armed militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas. It also presses for the withdrawal of 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.
It allows for full and objective international monitoring of compliance with the ceasefire and that of the situation in the safe zone created by the ceasefire; and excludes all use of military aircraft against civilians and populated areas in the conflict zone.
In addition, the plan includes the organizing of the exchange of individuals detained by force on an all for all basis without any preconditions, and open humanitarian corridors for refugees and for delivering humanitarian cargoes to towns and populated areas in Donbass - Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Lastly, the plan urges to make 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.
Also on Wednesday, the Kremlin said Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have discussed "steps" towards a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, denying any "permanent" ceasefire agreement as Kiev announced earlier in the day.
"It is not the question of a ceasefire agreement," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a Russian radio station.
"It is about the presidents discussing concrete steps to promote a ceasefire between the militia and the Ukrainian forces in the southeast of the country," he said.
Russia, he noted, is physically unable to negotiate the ceasefire as it is not one of its sides.
Meanwhile, Peskov said the leaders' views on possible ways to overcome the grave and critical situation "coincide to a considerable degree."
The Ukrainian government has not yet commented on the Putin plan.