Putin unveils Ukraine peace plan ahead of crucial Nato summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly unveiled a peace plan for Ukraine right ahead of a crucial Nato summit on Thursday where western nations, led by United States President Barack Obama, were planning to chalk out a new defence plan for Eastern Europe "in the face of Russian aggression."
The first point of a seven-point blueprint announced by Putin appealed both the pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian forces to lay down their weapons to put an end to five months of fighting that has claimed 2600 lives, reported The Daily Telegraph.
It also invited international monitors to watch over parts of the Ukrainian border that are controlled by the rebels and are allegedly used by Russia to smuggle arms and paramilitary troops into Ukrainian territory.
Putin said that he expected the separatists and the Ukrainian government to reach a final agreement during European-mediated negotiations on Friday in the Belarussian capital of Minsk.
Putin's spokesperson denied that Russia had agreed to a ceasefire in the truce deal by saying it was not involved in the conflict.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the truce deal was agreed upon during telephone talks with Putin.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk dubbed the plan as an eyewash and termed it an attempt to deceive the international community ahead of the Nato summit and to avert the European Union's "inevitable" decision to impose a new wave of sanctions against itself.
Obama, who is on a highly significant visit to former Soviet republic and new NATO member Estonia, said that it was too early to predict if the truce would hold.
Russia's decision to announce a peace plan for Ukraine right before the Nato summit is also being read as an attempt to take the sting out of the Nato meeting that was supposed to devise a plan for countering Russian aggression in the region.
The nation has often been accused of backing the rebels in Eastern Ukraine by Kiev and the western nations, a claim that has been denied by Moscow.
(Posted on 04-09-2014)