Poroshenko Warns of Conflict Escalation Despite Successful Peace Talks
19:48 13.02.2015(updated 20:29 13.02.2015)
The Donbas crisis may deteriorate despite the sides have reached an agreement to cease fire and withdraw heavy arms, the Ukrainian president said.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday warned the threat of military escalation in the country's east still remains despite the positive outcome of peace talks in Belarus.
'Despite the agreed ceasefire and heavy arms pullout, the threat of the conflict escalation remains,' Poroshenko said in a statement published on the president's official webpage.
This comes a day after the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany agreed on a 13-point peace plan aimed at stopping the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine that has claimed lives of more than 5,400 people since April 2014.
The 16-hour talks in Minsk began on Wednesday and stretched into Thursday. The mediators agreed that strict implementation of the new deal would lead to broader political agreements that would ultimately result in Ukrainian reconciliation.
Under the peace plan, the rivals in eastern Ukraine are to withdraw heavy weapons and set up a buffer zone of up to 140 kilometers (87 miles), pardon those involved in the armed conflict, and guarantee safe access to humanitarian aid in the affected eastern provinces.
The Ukrainian government is also expected to grant a special status to the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are to hold local elections under Ukrainian laws, while the Kiev parliament amends the constitution to decentralize power in Ukraine.
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