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Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:53:21 +0000
(KIEV, Ukraine) -- Chances of a long-term settlement between Ukraine and Russia improved Monday following a series of three-way meetings over two days that included the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said that Kiev and Moscow agreed to implement part of President Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan that would seemingly help to end the crisis that followed the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in late February.
At the time, Crimea split from Ukraine to join the Russian Federation while pro-Moscow separatists began taking over government buildings and other installations in eastern Ukraine. As this was happening, tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed near Ukraine border.
The new pact also calls for "priorities for de-escalation" in the rebel-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, although no specific details were announced.
Poroshenko, who won the presidency last month and was inaugurated this past weekend, is offering partial amnesty to so-called Russian "mercenaries" who Ukraine claims have stirred up trouble in the east.
However, the road to peace could be rocky as there were reports Monday of clashes between Ukrainian security forces and separatists.
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