卍ᛣᛉ卐 ᛝ ↯↯↯ ѪDurgaѪ ↯↯↯ ᛝ 卍ᛉᛣ卐 On Friday, February 13, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko (Reuters/RIA Novosti)
(RT) The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine are gathering in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, to discuss a last-ditch attempt to negotiate a political solution to the bloody Ukrainian civil war.

Marathon negotiations in Minsk between the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine have managed to produce a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and the rebels in the east of the country, raising hopes for an end to the violence.

Friday, February 13

03:32 GMT:
New EU sanctions against 19 individuals, including five Russian citizens, will be implemented on February 16. German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed reports at an informal EU summit in Brussels.
“If there are difficulties, I don’t exclude additional sanctions,” Merkel added.

03:32 GMT:
EC president Donald Tusk said the EU is ready to put further pressure on Russia if the new Minsk peace agreement is not adhered to.
“The debate focused on how to support the implementation of the agreement -- if it does not happen we will not hesitate to take the necessary steps,” Tusk told reporters after the European Union summit. “Our trust in the goodwill of President Putin is limited, this is why we have to maintain our decision on sanctions.”

00:50 GMT:
The Normandy Four will review how the Minsk agreement is being implemented in the coming days and may plan another summit, French President Francois Hollande said.
“We thought that if the ceasefire is adhered to … then we will need to have at least a telephone conference between the four parties involved in the talks, in order to make sure that everything that was intended is being done,” Hollande said after the EU summit.

Thursday, February 12

19:58 GMT:
At least three people were killed and several injured as the eastern city of Lugansk was shelled by multiple rocket launchers on Thursday evening, local media reported, citing the regional Emergencies Ministry. Local officials blamed Ukrainian troops for the shelling.

19:20 GMT:
Kim Dotcom has tweeted in the wake of the Minsk deal: "I am proud of Angela Merkel. She shows us that diplomacy and empathy are stronger than the bullying of Americans."

18:43 GMT:
The Minsk talks were “tough and very emotional,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Peskov confirmed Angela Merkel’s comment that it was Russian President Vladimir Putin who “put pressure” on the rebels in eastern Ukraine to agree to the ceasefire. The Kremlin spokesman also denied President Poroshenko’s claim that an ultimatum was issued to Kiev, Dozhd TV channel reported.

16:43 GMT:
The White House said it welcomed the Minsk agreement, calling it a "potentially significant step" in the resolution of the Ukrainian conflict. Washington added, however, that it was concerned about the escalation of fighting Thursday in eastern Ukraine, saying it was “inconsistent with the spirit of the accord."

16:40 GMT:
The withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the conflict zone in Donbass can take more than two or three days due to technical details, said the spokesman of the People’s Council of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Andrey Purgin, RIA Novosti reported. He explained that the process will include paperwork such as “drawing up of protocols” and “certain correspondence.”

15:47 GMT:
14:47 GMT:
Ukrainian experts have not observed any military activity on the part of Russian troops in the course of an inspection that was held in Russia's southern Rostov region, bordering Ukraine, from February 9-12, Russian Defense Ministry official Sergey Ryzhkov said.
The ministry had complied with the provisions of the 2011 Vienna Document and had ensured inspection on an area of about 15,000 square kilometers that had been selected by the Ukrainian side, he added.
"They [Ukrainian experts] pointed out precise observance of the Vienna document by the officials who had escorted them," Tass quoted Ryzhkov as saying.
Ryzhkov explained that such inspections are held “for the purpose of establishing the scale of military activities that are in progress and fall into the category of the activities, on which the signatories should issue notifications, or for confirming the absence of such activities.”

14:40 GMT:
Russia’s role in Ukraine crisis portrayed as pure propaganda in western NeoCon faction'
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13:35 GMT:
The negotiations in Minsk were a success that paves the wave for a diplomatic resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, said Ilkka Kanerva, the chair of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.
“We certainly welcome the negotiations and the agreements that came from it, because they allow for diplomatic resolution through dialog rather than war,” he said at a meeting with Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin in Moscow.
He added that the international community must do a difficult job to implement the agreement.

13:32 GMT:
President Petro Poroshenko said Russia would release Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian flight cadet who was arrested in Russia on charges related to the killing of two Russian journalists in Ukraine.
“I raised the issue of setting Nadezhda Savchenko free and was informed that it would be done soon after a medical examination and the publication of the results of the investigation,” he said. “I asked for an immediate release and the French President and German Chancellor supported me.”
Savchenko was elected into parliament in absentia and been appointed as Kiev’s envoy to PACE, which, Kiev believes, grants her immunity from prosecution in Russia. Moscow insists that the appointment is a ploy and that it won’t help her to escape justice.
The Ukrainian president claimed that Savchenko would be released under the new ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk on Thursday, which includes an exchange of all prisoners held by Kiev and the rebel forces.
Her lawyer Mark Feigin told Interfax that he didn’t believe Savchenko would be released.
“A source of mine familiar with the negotiations on Savchenko says she is not listed among the prisoners to be exchanged,” he said. “The investigation is almost over, and most likely a trial would follow with all procedures observed.”

13:31 GMT:
The Minsk agreements give hope, but they are not enough, said European Council Chair Donald Tusk.
“I welcome the development. It gives hope, but hope is not enough,” he told journalists in Brussels ahead of an EU summit.
Tusk said the actual implementation of the ceasefire would be a real test for the deal.

13:02 GMT:

11:39 GMT:
Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland has voiced his positive impressions of the progress made in Minsk. He said in a statement that a concrete basis for implementing the ceasefire has been set up. He also expressed hope for the constitutional reform that is to follow, and that it would respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

11:18 GMT:
The OSCE mission in Ukraine is ready to take on the responsibility of carrying out the objectives set forth in the Minsk talks, head of the Ukraine mission Aleksandr Hug said.

11:08 GMT:
A spokesman for the Kiev forces said the fulfillment by Kiev of the conditions in the ceasefire agreement would depend on their fulfillment by the rebel forces.

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