Iran Hails Truce in Ukraine
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s foreign ministry spokeswoman welcomed the ceasefire agreement reached between pro-Russians and the Ukrainian government.
Marziyeh Afkham expressed the hope that the truce would lead to a complete halt in clashes and the establishment of lasting peace in Ukraine and the region.
Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels reached a ceasefire agreement on Friday, the first step towards ending fighting in eastern Ukraine that has caused the worst standoff between Moscow and the West since the Cold War ended.
The ceasefire deal was struck in the Belarussian capital Minsk along with a deal allowing for prisoner exchanges, deliveries of humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of heavy weapons after five months of a conflict that has killed more than 2,600 people.
The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement on Saturday that he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had noted in a telephone call that the ceasefire between prop-Russians and Kiev was largely in effect.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the protests.
Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Lugansk held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.