#AceWorldNews – Update:BELARUS: Feb.12: The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany on Thursday announced a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine following marathon talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk the USA Today reported.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the agreement envisages the cease-fire starting Sunday, a special status for rebel regions, provisions on border controls and humanitarian issues.
But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the talks did not include any agreement on autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine, a longtime demand of Russia.
The deal requires the Ukrainian parliament to give wide powers to the eastern regions as a condition for restoring Ukraine’s full control over the border — a provision certain to trigger heated political debate in Ukraine according to AP.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Poroshenko and Putin began talks on Wednesday in an effort to hash out a peace agreement between Kiev and the separatists amid a spike in fighting.
"We came to an agreement, an agreement on a cease-fire and on a global political settlement of the Ukrainian conflict," Hollande said. "That global settlement will include all issues, from the cease-fire to the control of the border, to decentralization, and, of course, the pullback of heavy weapons and resuming economic relations."
The agreement is a complex compromise that allows both Russia and Ukraine to claim victory, but is full of potential pitfalls that may derail its implementation.
Uncertainty remained even regarding the declared cease-fire, as Putin admitted that he and Poroshenko disagreed on assessing the situation in a key flashpoint, the government-held town of Debaltseve.