A ceasefire agreement pertaining to East Ukraine was communicated to the media following a telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president Poroshenko.
Poroshenko is reported to have written on his Twitter account:
“As a result of my telephone conversation with the Russian president we reached an agreement on a permanent ceasefire on Donbass.”
The official communique on the president of Ukraine’s website states that:
“Mutual understanding was reached in regard to steps to be taken to provide peace,”
The Russian president cannot formally negotiate a cease fire with president Poroshenko because Russian forces are not involved in the conflict between Kiev forces and the Donbass militia.
What the Russian president undertook was to draft a seven point peace proposal calling for the the withdrawal of Ukraine troops from southeastern regions of Ukraine and for Donbass militia to curtail their offensive.
This Seven point plan should be followed by concrete trilateral negotiations (Donbass, Ukraine, Russia). The Russian president is clear. These seven points could constitute the basis for negotiation between the parties in the conflict.
The Donbass governments of Donesk and Lugansk were not consulted regarding the substance of the seven point peace plan. They have no interest at this point in reaching a ceasefire agreement which provides Kiev forces with the opportunity to strike back at a later date. The nature of these negotiations are of utmost importance.
This peace proposal which was communicated to journalists. Below is the full transcript.
At a press conference in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, Putin responded to journalists:
QUESTION: Mr President, you spoke with Mr Poroshenko today. The Ukrainian authorities initially announced that you had agreed on a complete ceasefire, but then explanations came that what is under discussion are concrete steps for settling the situation, which is understandable, given that Russia is not a party to this conflict. If there was discussion of concrete steps, what are they, and what will happen next?
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Yes, I did speak with President Poroshenko this morning, and it seemed to me at any rate that our views on how to settle the conflict are very close, as the diplomats say.
On the way here from Blagoveshchensk to Ulan Bator, I jotted down a few thoughts that could constitute an action plan of sorts. True, I have only these notes that I jotted down, but I can read them to you if you want.
In order to stop the bloodshed and stabilise the situation in southeast Ukraine, I believe that the parties to the conflict should immediately agree on and coordinate the following steps:
First, end active offensive operations by armed forces, armed units and militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas.
Second, withdraw 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.
Third, allow for full and objective international monitoring of compliance with the ceasefire and monitoring of the situation in the safe zone created by the ceasefire.
Fourth, exclude all use of military aircraft against civilians and populated areas in the conflict zone.
Fifth, organise the exchange of individuals detained by force on an ‘all for all’ basis without any preconditions.
Sixth, open humanitarian corridors for refugees and for delivering humanitarian cargoes to towns and populated areas in Donbass – Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.
Seventh, 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.
I think that the Kiev authorities and the representatives of southeast Ukraine could come to basic agreements and cement them at the contact group’s planned meeting on September 5.
I want to note that this statement and all I just said follow on from the telephone conversation with President Poroshenko that you asked about. I hope very much that Ukraine’s government will support the emerging progress in bilateral relations and make use of the positive opportunity the contact group’s work provides to bring about final and comprehensive settlement to the situation in southeast Ukraine, in full and unconditional respect for the lawful rights of those who live there of course.
That is all I have to say. I have nothing to add. Thank you. (Source office of the Russian presidency)
The first condition calls for a cease fire, the second and fourth conditions pertain to the relentless shelling and bombing of the civilian population by Ukraine forces.
There are, however, profound divisions within the Ukraine government, with attempts on the part of the West to stall the peace proposal. Prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, who faithfully obeys orders emanating from the US State Department is reported to have dismissed the seven point peace plan, “calling it a trap.”
The contact group is meeting on September 5 in Minsk following its earlier meeting on September 1. At these earlier talks, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics urged Kiev “to acknowledge their “special status.”
The initial statement said that if Kiev guarantees their “special status,” then the Donetsk and Lugansk republics will do everything possible “to preserve Ukraine’s common economic, cultural and political space and the space of the entire Ukraine-Russian civilization.”
This was interpreted as the two self-proclaimed republics seeking autonomy within Ukraine while wishing to remain part of it.
However, later Donetsk People’s Republic Deputy PM Andrey Purgin explained that it’s about “the common security space of Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, about post-war reconstruction of the economic, cultural, and social connections with Ukraine, and also about the fact that the DNR and LNR wouldn’t lay claim to other Ukrainian territories.”
In their initial demands, LNR and DNR representatives called on the Ukrainian government to end their military operation in the country’s east so that parliamentary and local elections can take place freely.
“The president, government and [parliament] Verkhovna Rada should accept… decrees granting immediate recovery from the humanitarian catastrophe, acknowledging the special status of the territories under the control of the People’s Republics, creating conditions – first of all stopping the ‘anti-terror’ operations – for free elections of local authorities and MPs,” the document with the republics’ position reads.
The document also urged Kiev to guarantee “the right to use the Russian language at an official level on the territories of the People’s Republics.”
After the government of President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in March, the new authorities immediately started to introduce the legislation curbing the Russian language. Though the law failed to materialize in the end, the initiative was one of the major factors that triggered the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The self-proclaimed republics were represented by DNR Deputy PM Andrey Purgin and the chairman of the LNR’s Supreme Council, Aleksey Karyakin. RT emphasis added
The seven point peace plan is slated to be discussed at the contact group meeting under the auspices of the OSCE on September 5 with representatives of Lugansk, Donetsk, Russia and Ukraine.
In all likelihood, US-NATO will attempt to stall the seven point peace proposal and will pressure the Ukrainian government.
The NATO Summit will be issuing its final communique on September 5, which in large part has already been written and which proposes the militarization of Eastern Europe as well as NATO military involvement in Ukraine.
Poroshenko will be leading the Ukrainian delegation to the Wales NATO summit on September 4-5. Putin was not invited to attend. The Ukrainian delegation will be releasing a joint declaration in consultation with NATO, which does not in any way envisage a cease fire.