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Ukraine's Poroshenko confirms cease-fire signed with Russian-backed rebels

The Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists from eastern Ukraine agreed to a cease-fire on Friday that was expected to go into effect at 6:00 p.m. local time.

By
JC Finley
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, pictured on August 24, announced a cease-fire agreement with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine on September 5, 2014. (UPI/Ivan Vakolenko)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, pictured on August 24, announced a cease-fire agreement with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine on September 5, 2014. (UPI/Ivan Vakolenko) | License Photo

KIEV, Ukraine, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists have agreed to a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, which is expected to go into effect at 6:00 p.m. local time on Friday.

The peace talks were held in Minsk and involved officials from Ukraine and Russia, Russian-backed separatist leaders from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, and the OSCE.

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According to a source who spoke with Interfax-Ukraine about the agreement, "The protocol consists of 14 clauses which include all the aspects of monitoring, the exchange of prisoners and other issues."

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko confirmed the signing of a cease-fire agreement in a Twitter post.

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Poroshenko issued a statement that in response to "a call for ceasefire of President of Russia Vladimir Putin addressed to the heads of illegal armed groups of the Donbas and the signature of the protocol at the meeting of Trilateral contact group on the implementation of the Peace plan of the President of Ukraine, I order the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to cease fire starting from 18:00, September 5."

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"I also instruct the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to ensure jointly with the OSCE an efficient international control over the compliance with the ceasefire regime which must be exclusively bilateral."

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Pro-Russian rebel leader Igor Plotnitsky from Luhansk acknowledged that while "Most of the points of the protocol correspond with our demands," the separatists are not abandoning plans to join Russia; "the cease-fire does not mean a shift from our course of breaking away from Ukraine."

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