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Ukraine Pledges More Autonomy to Rebillious East
Sep 13, 2014

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko promised to introduce a Bill to Parliament that would offer greater  autonomy to rebellious regions in the pro-Russia east, where separatists have been battling Government troops for almost five months. He said the regions would remain part of Ukraine and rejected the idea of federalisation, something both Russia and pro-Moscow separatists have continued to push for even after a cease-fire agreement. The agreement, which was reached in Belarus, “envisages the restoration and preservation of Ukrainian sovereignty over the entire territory of Donbas, including the part that is temporarily under control of the rebels. Ukraine has made no concessions with regards to its territorial integrity.”

The Ukranian President said that 70 per cent of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory had been withdrawn since the cease-fire began. 700 Ukrainian prisoners had been freed from rebel captivity, and another 500 would be freed soon.

Ukraine and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of fueling the pro-Russian separatists with arms, expertise, and even its own troops, something Russia denies.

Germany Called for New Sanctions on Russia: German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the European Union to put new sanctions against Russia into effect immediately because peace plans for eastern Ukraine have not yet been implemented fully. 

The EU has drawn up new measures against Russia over its actions in Ukraine but stopped short of enforcing them right away. Ambassadors from EU member countries held a meeting in Brussels on the sanctions. The new sanctions are expected to deepen earlier penalties targeting Russia’s energy and arms sectors and tighten access to international loans.

Angela Merkel told Germany’s parliament it’s important for peace plans drawn up by Ukraine and Russia to be put into effect and a cease-fire and the release of prisoners are only two elements of the plan. It also includes the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from Ukraine and a free decision by people in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions on their future status. 


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