Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has outlined plans for a short ceasefire in the hope of bringing peace to the country’s restive east.
The brief window is intended to allow pro-Russian rebels to lay down their arms and walk away from the fight.
The shift in rhetoric comes after a phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin
Poroshenko shed some light on Kyiv’s intentions:
“I can say that the period of ceasefire will be rather short. We expect that illegal armed groups will then immediately disarm. Then order will be reached, including joint patrolling against, criminals and bandits who are destabilising situation in the east.”
But his words may have fallen on deaf ears, with the head of the self proclaimed Donetsk peoples republic already reportedly refusing to comply. Moscow has also appeared relatively cool on the idea of a brief window of peace.
Poroshenko hopes to use the temporary amnesty to strengthen Ukraine’s border with Russia, believing only then normality can return.
In a busy day at the office Poroshenko has also given his backing for Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Pavlo Klimkinto, to become the next foreign minister.
Pending parliamentary approval, he stands to replace scandal-stricken Andrii Deshchytsia.
Last Saturday, Andrii was caught on camera insulting Russia’s President whilst addressing an angry crowd of protesters.
Moscow has since called for his dismissal.
Wednesday’s events come on the back of a phone call between Poroshenko and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said to have taken place late Tuesday evening.
As well as discussing a potential ceasefire Putin is also said to have touched upon the death of two Russian journalists, killed during shelling near Luhansk.
Poroshenko reportedly expressed his condolences for the incident and promised a thorough investigation.
With gas supply proving another sore point in relations, images of an explosion at a Ukrainian transit pipeline had stoked fears that European supplies may be affected.
Today Russian energy giant Gazprom stressed that gas flows were stable.
Though Ukraine itself remains cut off from Russian gas for failing to pay substantial debts.
Kyiv has branded the move political- it must now pay Gazprom in advance for future purchases.