Ukraine crisis: Poroshenko and Putin agree 'ceasefire regime' but confusion remains

Cameron has told EU leaders not to ‘appease’ Putin as Britain and France did Hitler

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday that a “ceasefire regime” had been agreed with Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

The President revised his previous comments that Ukraine had reached a "permanent ceasefire" with Russia with a brief statement from his office that a "mutual understanding was reached regarding the steps that will contribute to the establishment of peace," but gave no further details.

But fighting in the region does not appear to have ceased. Serhiy Melnuchuk, a commander of the Aidar volunteer militia battalion in Donbass, told Ukraine’s 112 TV channel that “at the moment journalists told me of a ceasefire, we came under fire twice”, while Vladislav Brrig, a rebel official, told the Associated Press that "as long as Ukrainian forces are on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic there can be no ceasefire".

Petro Poroshenko Petro Poroshenko claims 'permanent ceasefire' has been agreed President Putin has since called on both sides to observe a ceasefire, and said he has a seven-step plan to "end the bloodshed". His proposals include calls for both the pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine to halt military operations. He called on Ukraine to move its forces back from the frontlines and to refrain from shelling civilian areas.

He said his and President Poroshenko's views on resolving the conflict are "very close", confirming he had spoken to the Ukrainian president on Wednesday.

At the time of the original ceasefire announcemenet, President Poroshenko tweeted: "As a result of a telephone conversation with the president of Russia, we have reached agreement on a permanent ceasefire in the Donbass. Glory to Ukraine!"

Donbass incorporates the regions of Donestsk and Luhansk, where fighting has been ongoing since April. The death toll has reached more than 2,600 since the fighting began, according to the UN.

The Prime Minister will be under more pressure to join the US in mounting air strikes against Isis Cameron has warned the West against making the same mistakes as Neville Chamberlain The original announcement was denied by the Kremlin, which claimed that "Russia cannot physically agree to a ceasefire as it is not party to the conflict".

President Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that "Putin and Poroshenko really discussed the steps that would contribute to a ceasefire between the militia and the Ukrainian forces”.

President Barack Obama called the reports of a ceasefire in the region “too early to tell” in a press conference in Estonia on Wednesday. He said the United States has “consistently” supported efforts to reach a “meaningful” ceasefire.

Confusion around the agreement comes on the day that Russia announced it will conduct major exercises in September of the strategic missile forces responsible for its long-range nuclear arsenal.

President Barack Obama makes his statement to the press President Obama has arrived in Estonia The exercises will involve more than 4,000 servicemen and will practice countering irregular units and high-precision weapons, the RIA news agency reported Russia’s Defence ministry as saying, with the tests making extensive use of air power.

Russia’s defence ministry announced the plans amid rising tensions between the country and Nato over the crisis in Ukraine, just days after Vladimir Putin boasted to European leaders that he could “take Kiev in two weeks”, after telling a youth summer camp that “Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers” and that “Russia’s partners should understand it’s best not to mess with us”.

But despite the Russian leader’s aggressive comments, a spokesperson for President Putin said he had had discussions with President Poroshenko regarding a peace settlement in eastern Ukraine, finding that they “largely share views” on a way out of the crisis. The spokesperson did not give an indication of when this conversation took place.

On Saturday David Cameron warned European leaders that the West is at risk of appeasing President Putin in the same way that Britain and France appeased Adolf Hitler before the start of the Second World War.

In a debate about the crisis in Ukraine that took place behind closed doors, the Prime Minister told leaders that President Putin had to be stopped from seizing all of Ukriane, the Guardian reported, according to details of the conversation obtained by La Repubblica.

He likened the dealings of European leaders with Putin to the failed methods of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the lead up to the war, when he continued to negotiate with Hitler.

Video: Half a million displaced in Ukraine

“We run the risk of repeating the mistakes made in Munich in ’38. We cannot know what will happen next,” Mr Cameron is understood to have said. “This time we cannot meet Putin’s demands. He has already taken Crimea and we cannot allow him to take the whole country,” La Repubblica reported.

President Barack Obama has since arrived in Estonia, making a show of solidarity in Eastern Europe ahead of a Nato summit in Wales on Thursday. He is due to hold a news conference with Eastonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and is expected to reassure the Baltics that the US would come to their defence if tensions escalated that far.

Under the Nato charter, an attack on one member is considered an attack on the entire alliance.

Additional reporting by agencies

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine