MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland have discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreement aimed at resolving the situation in the southeastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian president’s official website reported Monday.
“The Head of State said it is important to resume the work of the Ukrainian border guards, and to involve OSCE experts with proper technical equipment in monitoring the checkpoints and border,” according to the president’s statement.
Poroshenko also stressed the need to resume the supply of gas, electricity and food to areas controlled by independence supporters.
Moreover, the Ukrainian president thanked the United States for its support.
“The president expressed his gratitude to the US president and the government for strong support of Ukraine on its way to freedom and democracy,” according to the statement published on the website.
In April, the Kiev authorities launched a military operation in southeastern Ukraine, where independence supporters refused to accept the new government which came to power as a result of the February coup.
On September 5, a ceasefire agreement was reached between Kiev authorities and the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR). The agreement, signed in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, at a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine, which comprised representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
On September 19, a memorandum was drawn up by the Contact Group to include nine provisions for the ceasefire, which included the creation of a 30-kilometer (18-mile) buffer zone, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from residential areas and the deployment of an OSCE monitoring mission in southeastern Ukraine. Both the Kiev forces and independence fighters have subsequently accused each other of violating the ceasefire.
On October 3, Nuland said that the United States would be ready to lift some of the sanctions against Russia if the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk was observed. The US diplomat said that “Ukraine is fulfilling its commitments under the September 5 Minsk agreements.”
On October 5, the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council admitted that the ceasefire in Donbas had been violated, but said it had been done by uncontrolled military groups.