An armed pro-Russian separatist guards a border post
abandoned by Ukrainian border guards at Chervonopartyzansk
along the Ukraine-Russia border. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
Ukraine says it has reached a "mutual understanding" with
Moscow on parts of a plan proposed by President Petro
Poroshenko for ending violence in the east of the country.
It gave no other details after a second day of talks on
Poroshenko's proposals for ending conflict in which scores of
people, including pro-Russian separatist fighters and
government forces, have been killed in east Ukraine since
"As a result of the work, the sides reached a mutual
understanding on key stages of the implementation of the plan
and on a list of priorities which will contribute to a
de-escalation of the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk
regions of Ukraine," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
Moscow did not immediately comment.
The talks are being mediated by the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe, a security and human rights
watchdog. At the first talks on Sunday, with Russian envoy
Mikhail Zurabov, Poroshenko said violence must end this week.
The Foreign Ministry did not say who had attended Tuesday's
talks, but said the "contact group" would hold further
meetings on the crisis, which has caused the worst standoff
between Russia and the West since the Cold War ended.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Finland on
Monday the new government in Ukraine and the European Union
had to work more constructively to end the crisis.
"We don't even know what is wanted from us. We are doing
everything to resolve the Ukraine situation," he said at a
news conference with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja
"I believe that the newly chosen Ukrainian President
Poroshenko's contacts (with western leaders) can lead to
violence being stopped and internal dialogue beginning."
Lavrov said the EU's stance was not based on the best
interests of its member states.
"It is not surprising that people call the EU stance
unconstructive," he said. "It seeks revenge."
Since Poroshenko was elected president on May 25, the
Ukrainian army has stepped up military operations to take
back buildings seized by pro-Russian separatists in several
towns and cities in mainly Russian-speaking east Ukraine.