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PEACE AT LAST: Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels 'sign ceasefire deal'

By Tai Chishakwe - Sep 5, 2014
PEACE AT LAST: Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels 'sign ceasefire deal'

The Ukrainian government and pro-Russia rebels finally agreed on ‘preliminary protocol to start a ceasefire’ Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Friday, after a meeting to end the fighting in Minsk.

Poroshenko said that the truce would start at 15:00 GMT. However, the announcement came after reports of further fighting in the east.

The talks in Minsk, capital of Belarus, involve former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and leaders of the self-proclaimed "people's republics" in Donetsk and Luhansk.

They come after Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward a seven-point peace plan. The plan includes a halt to "active offensive operations" by the Ukrainian military and pro-Russia rebels, international ceasefire monitoring, unconditional prisoner exchanges and humanitarian aid corridors.

The announcement came when the West, which accuses Russia of sending arms and troops to back the rebels in eastern Ukraine, was working on further sanctions against Russia. Moscow denies supporting the rebels.

Image: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.