Ukraine’s leader convenes generals after failed peace talks

Ukrainian President calls in generals following failed attempt to negotiate on ending clashes in country

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko convened his generals on Tuesday to find a solution to the country’s crisis following failed peace talks that were designed to end conflict with separatist rebels, which left seven Ukrainian troops dead in the most recent clashes.

Ukraine’s president had sent his personal envoy to Minsk on Monday to negotiate for a new weapons withdrawal agreement in a bid to end the 16-month-old conflict in his country between pro-Russia separatist rebels and his government.

The talks were deemed a failure after only a few hours, after Ukraine reportedly refused to withdraw its forces from some strategic sites.

"We need to clearly determine a plan for strengthening our defences in case of the conflict's escalation," Poroshenko told members of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council and top ministers.

Three troops were reportedly killed in rocket attacks overnight, according to the the Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov.

On the other hand, pro-Russian rebels accuse Ukrainian forces of intensifying attacks and firing at civilian areas.

Both sides accuse each other of violations.

Nearly 1.4 million people have been internally displaced and 7,000 killed in Ukraine since the conflict in the country began in March 2014 following the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Since then, the EU and the US issued several sanctions on Moscow’s banking, energy and arms industries following accusations that Russia is providing military and political support to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Rebels claimed to be working towards reestablishing the old Russian empire by adjoining parts of Ukraine into the bigger “New Russia” that Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated quite frequently.

The rebels took over areas in Ukraine’s east, and were allegedly consistently funded by Russia as the group picked up speed in its neighbouring state.

Although Moscow denies involvement in war-torn Ukraine, Putin has reportedly called the seized Ukrainian territories “New Russia.”

TRTWorld and agencies