Ceasefire for Ukraine forces extended by 72 hours
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Ukraine on Friday extended a ceasefire for government forces by 72 hours until 7pm (GMT) on Monday, President Petro Poroshenko announced on his website. The move comes a day after Poroshenko signed a landmark deal on EU cooperation.
The announcement came shortly after Poroshenko returned to Kiev from Brussels where he signed a landmark free trade deal at a European Union summit.
The ceasefire extension had been undertaken, it said, in line with a deadline set by EU leaders for Ukrainian rebels to agree to ceasefire verification arrangements, return border checkpoints to Kiev authorities and free hostages, including detained monitors of the OSCE rights and security watchdog.
At a separate meeting, Poroshenko and national security chiefs said that, during the next 72 hours, recruitment centres for Russian fighters across the border in Russia should be closed.
Movements of rebel forces around the east and the construction of rebel checkpoints and barricades should also cease, according to the announcement.
Violence despite ceasefire
FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg reported from Kiev that despite the ceasefire, the violence was continuing.
Cragg said that separatist leader Alexander Borodai of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic had promised to meet Kiev’s extension on Friday.
“The problem is the separatists certainly haven’t been observing their ceasefire and they also accuse Kiev and the National Guard of violating their ceasefire,” Cragg reported.
“There’s been a lot of violence since this ceasefire started, and it’s still going on.”
Ukrainian government forces have the right to end the ceasefire ahead of time in any areas where the ceasefire conditions were not being implemented.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
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