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Putin asks militia to open corridor for trapped Ukraine troops
August 29, 2014, 8:24 am

Putin with Heads of State of the Customs Union with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (4th from right) and representatives of the European Union on 26 August 2014 [PPIO]

Putin with Heads of State of the Customs Union with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (4th from right) and representatives of the European Union on 26 August 2014 [PPIO]

Following this week’s critical talks with the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on militia in southeastern Ukraine to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukrainian servicemen.

“I call on the militia groups to open a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian service members who have been surrounded, so as to avoid any needless loss of life, giving them the opportunity to leave the combat area unimpeded and reunite with their families, to return them to their mothers, wives and children, and to quickly provide medical assistance to those who were injured in the course of the military operation,” said Putin.

A Reuters report on Friday quoted militia groups as saying they would allow the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops they have encircled.

After talks with Putin on Tuesday, Poroshenko had promised to work on an urgent ceasefire plan to defuse the separatist conflict.

The militia have succeeded in cutting short Kiev’s military operation, “which has already resulted in tremendous casualties among civilians,” Putin said on Friday in Moscow.

“The Russian side is ready and willing to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Donbass, who have been affected by this humanitarian catastrophe,” he added.

Putin also urged the Ukrainian government “to immediately abandon combat actions, cease fire, and sit down at the negotiating table together with representatives of Ukraine’s eastern regions in order to settle, exclusively in a peaceful way, all the problems that have piled up.”

Putin has said earlier that Russia can not discuss terms of a ceasefire and that agreements would have to be worked out between separatists and the Ukrainian government.

“We didn’t substantively discuss that, and we, Russia, can’t substantively discuss conditions of a ceasefire, of agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk. That’s not our business, it’s up to Ukraine itself,” he said on Wednesday.

The conflict between government troops and pro-independence militia has killed more than 2593 people in eastern and southeastern Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands of others displaced, says UN figures.

 

TBP and Agencies

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