Ukraine to raise peace plan at WWII anniversary

4th June 2014, Comments 0 comments

Ukraine's president-elect said Wednesday he would present a peace plan to leaders gathered in France this week for World War II commemorations before making it public at his inauguration.

"We'll discuss it at an inter-governmental level with the European Union and this will be wound up in Normandy," Petro Poroshenko told reporters in Warsaw following talks with US President Barack Obama.

The chocolate baron, who won Ukraine's May 25 presidential election, formally takes office on Saturday.

"On June 7, it will be my ... plan, proposal, to establish law order and peace," he said, responding to questions by reporter as to whether he was considering imposing martial law in Ukraine's restive east where government troops are battling pro-Russia separatists.

The peace plan would include the decentralisation of power, an amnesty and "creating conditions for early local elections," Poroshenko said.

"If all these proposals will be accepted and if we can start the dialogue, I think that would be a unique chance for peace, if not then Ukraine should defend" itself, he added.

Poroshenko is expected to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the coming days and has not ruled out meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"As of today we don't have a meeting scheduled with Mr. Putin, but I'm not ruling out this could happen in some form or another," he said.

In Ukraine, three government soldiers were injured in a massive all-night attack carried out by hundreds of pro-Russian insurgents in east, authorities in Kiev said Wednesday.

The assault on a position held by the Ukrainian National Guard in the Lugansk region began Tuesday evening and lasted 10 hours, the interior ministry said, adding that six rebels were killed in the fighting.

The 300 rebels who took part in the attack were armed with automatic weapons, rocket launchers and mortars, and the Ukrainian forces fought "to the last bullet," according to the ministry.

Washington accuses Moscow of coordinating and directing the rebels, and says continued fighting.


© 2014 AFP

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