… with PressTV, Tehran
– First published December 4, 2014 –
Ukraine and the pro-Russia forces have agreed to stop fighting across the eastern conflict zone from December 9 under the terms of a Kremlin-brokered ceasefire.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday that the terms of the new ceasefire were already included in an earlier deal agreed in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk in September.
However, the Minsk Agreement published at the time did not mention a specific date on which the warring sides were due to lay down their arms.
Poroshenko added that Kiev has prepared “measures that should ensure the implementation of the Minsk Agreement concerning a ‘Day of Silence’ that is due to begin on December 9.”
According to a source in Poroshenko’s office, Ukraine would start withdrawing heavy weapons from the eastern frontline on December 10.
The parliament speaker of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic also confirmed that the ceasefire was part of the Minsk deal.
“The [Minsk] group, which included our and Ukrainian military officials, as well as OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and Russian mediators, agreed to halt fire on December 9,” Russia’s RIA Novosti state news agency quoted Andrei Purgin as saying.
Igor Plotnitsky, the leader of the self-declared Lugansk People’s Republic, said that during Minsk talks, a ceasefire that would start in mid-December was discussed.
This is while observers thought that the September ceasefire had entered into effect immediately and no indication was previously given that clashes would only end in December.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence the pro-Moscow protests in mid-April.