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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 355
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Poroshenko Calls for Rapid Ceasefire, Release of POWs, Defensive Weapons
7 years
Poroshenko Invokes Proof of Russian Military Presence in Ukraine, Calls for Western Military Aid

President Petro Poroshenko spoke at the Munich Security Council today, urging a rapid cease-fire, and calling for the West to give Ukraine defensive weapons, AP and other wire services reported. AP reports:

Petro Poroshenko spoke amid a hectic flurry of diplomacy. Hours earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she's still unsure of reaching a deal to calm the crisis, which France's president said could feature a broad demilitarized zone and greater autonomy for Ukraine's separatist eastern region.

Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, fresh from trips to Kiev and Moscow, plan to discuss the proposals in a phone call Sunday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Poroshenko.

The aim is to draw up a possible joint document on implementing the much-violated September peace plan concluded in Minsk, Belarus. That agreement also featured a demilitarized zone, though the battle lines have since changed, and the government in Kiev has offered a measure of autonomy to the separatists.

Poroshenko told the Munich Security Conference that Ukraine stands ready for a "comprehensive and immediate cease-fire" and Russia should be too.

He indicated he didn't want any peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine, saying they wouldn't be needed if foreign fighters were withdrawn and the Ukraine-Russia border sealed. Then, he said, there would be "peace and stability in Ukraine ... within a couple of weeks."

Poroshenko said he didn't want the war in Ukraine to turn into a "frozen conflict" like others in the region kept unsolved by Russia, such as with the breakaway Transdnistria Republic in Moldova.

But the West is unlikely to supply any lethal weapons, although non-lethal equipment has been donated. AP reports:

 

The resurgent fighting has prompted the U.S. to consider giving lethal weapons to Ukraine, an option opposed by European nations which fear the move would merely make the situation worse.

"The problem is that I cannot imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily," Merkel said. "I have to put it that bluntly."