Petro Poroshenko says `not easy` to implement Ukraine peace deal

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned Thursday that it would be hard to make a success of a new peace deal between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists.

AFP| Updated: Feb 13, 2015, 00:23 AM IST
Petro Poroshenko says `not easy` to implement Ukraine peace deal

Kiev: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned Thursday that it would be hard to make a success of a new peace deal between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists.

"It was very difficult negotiation and we expect not easy implementation process," Poroshenko said in Brussels, speaking in English, after briefing EU leaders on the accord signed hours earlier at a summit in Minsk.

Marathon talks between Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande resulted in a deal to end the 10-month conflict in eastern Ukraine.

It includes a ceasefire that takes effect at midnight Kiev time on Sunday and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontlines of the war, which has killed at least 5,300 people.

But Poroshenko said it was difficult to trust the other side to keep its promises.

"We demanded immediate ceasefire without any precondition. Unfortunately they demanded we have almost 70 hours before ceasefire was launched. Immediately after the deal was signed, the Russian-backed terrorists started the offensive operation," he said.

"That is why it is vitally important for us, for all of us to keep the pressure to keep the promises about the ceasefire -- about the withdrawal of the heavy weapons, about the immediate release of all the hostages, about the withdrawal of all the foreign troops and mercenaries, and the closing of the border."