Following a phone call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a 7-point ceasefire plan to end the bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Stating his views on the conflict were very similar to those of Poroshenko, Putin said the plan included a halt to separatist fire, a pull-back of Ukrainian forces, an end to airstrikes and the establishment of a humanitarian aid passage.
Poroshenko, for his part, said he and Putin shared a mutual understanding on steps to ensure peace in the region, adding that he expected a substantive dialogue on reconciliation to take place during talks in Minsk on Friday.
However, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk dismissed the ceasefire plan, saying it was an attempt to deceive the west about Moscow's real intentions.
With growing skepticism, France has also expressed its disapproval by delaying the delivery of two navy assault ships to Russia.
The UN says more than one million people have been uprooted from their homes and many more may follow as it doesn't look like the dark clouds of war will lift anytime soon.
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.
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