Ukraine crisis: Poroshenko sees lasting 'threat from the east'

Yesterday Ukraine reported that at least three soldiers had been killed in the previous 24 hours

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Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has said a “military threat from the east” would remain even if a peace deal holds between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

The country’s government, as well as western nations, has repeatedly accused Russia of sending troops and weapons to support the separatists in eastern Ukraine – despite a peace deal agreed in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, this month.

“Even under the most optimistic scenario ... the military threat from the east would unfortunately remain,” Mr Poroshenko said in a televised speech at the National Defence University; the remarks were seen as an indirect jab at Russia, which has denied it is involved in the conflict.

 

Yesterday Ukraine reported that at least three soldiers had been killed in the previous 24 hours. In the two days before that, no troop deaths were mentioned, which had raised hopes of the truce holding. Government troops and separatists have started to pull heavy artillery away from the front line in recent days.

Ukraine paid Moscow $15m (£9.7m) yesterday to keep up its gas supplies, but Russia says the sum will cover only one extra day, meaning supplies could be cut off on Tuesday. Officials from the two countries are meeting on Monday to try to reach a deal.

Reuters

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