Ukrainian Interior Minister Says Army Ready for Tough Action in Eastern Regions
KIEV, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies are ready for tough action in the protest-hit eastern regions of the country once the ceasefire expires later on Friday, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.
"The armed forces of the country, the national guard and the Interior Ministry unit are ready for this kind of solution to the issue," Ukraine's Interior Ministry quoted Avakov as saying.
At least 20 pro-Kiev troops have been killed since the ceasefire was announced, the minister added.
' More than 20 representatives of the Ukrainian side were killed and many wounded,' the statement said.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would decide on a ceasefire after holding necessary consultations with the defense minister, the interior minister and the chiefs of the National Security and Defense Council.
The same day, Agence France-Presse reported that a diplomatic source said Poroshenko is ready to extend the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine by 72 hours.
Last Friday, Poroshenko ordered a week-long ceasefire in the country's east and unveiled a 15-point peace plan, which included guarantees to independence forces who agreed to lay down their arms before the ceasefire expires at 10.00 p.m. local time (19:00 GMT) on June 27.
Independence forces said they were ready to observe the ceasefire, but the truce has been shaky ever since, with both parties blaming each other for sporadic outbreaks of violence committed even after the deal.
Violence in southeastern Ukraine has been on the rise since the beginning of a punitive operation launched by the Kiev authorities in mid-April that has claimed hundreds of lives.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week he believed that seven days was not enough to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Putin stressed that the matter concerns concrete agreements among all parties involved in the conflict, underlining that those agreements must be reflected by actions.
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