World / Europe

Envoys meet in Minsk for Ukraine crisis talks

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-05 20:24

MINSK - Representatives from Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Ukraine's government and insurgent leadership met here Friday for talks on the Ukraine crisis.

A ceasefire in Ukraine's restive east is widely expected from the meeting, so as to pave the way for a possible political settlement of the bloody conflict, which has killed over 2,500 people.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Thursday that a ceasefire with the insurgents will be ordered if an agreement on a peace plan to end the war in eastern Ukraine is signed at the Minsk talks.

On Wednesday, after talking over phone with Poroshenko on "concrete steps to promote a ceasefire between the militia and the Ukrainian forces," Putin proposed a seven-point plan to stop military clashes in eastern Ukraine.

Among others, the plan calls for an end to active offensive operations by armed forces and armed militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Moscow is ready to take practical steps toward the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis in line with Putin's proposal.

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