Ukraine ceasefire expires without extension

Still no word on truce extension despite earlier reports suggesting Russia and Ukraine would work towards an agreement.

President Poroshenko has already extended the ceasefire as part of a peace plan to end the conflict [Getty Images]

A ceasefire declared by the Ukrainian president as part of his plan to end a pro-Russia insurgency in the country’s east has expired without any immediate word on his extending it.

The ceasefire, which President Petro Poroshenko had earlier extended from seven to 10 days, expired at 10pm local time (1900 GMT) on Monday.

A few hours earlier, Poroshenko discussed the situation in a phone call with the leaders of Russia, Germany and France, saying the rebels had not “fulfilled the conditions”.

His office didn’t say whether the truce would be extended.

The ceasefire has been continuously broken by both sides, and rebels have ignored Poroshenko’s demands to lay down weapons and hand back seized border posts.

Sporadic fighting flared on Monday and shelling killed at least two people and ruined several apartments in the rebel-held city of Slovyansk in the eastern region of Donetsk.

Earlier in the day, the French presidency said that presidents of Russia and Ukraine had agreed to work on extending a ceasefire between Kiev and pro-Kremlin militias.

In a four-way teleconference on Monday which also included the French and German leaders, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko agreed to work on “the adoption of an agreement on a bilateral ceasefire between Ukrainian authorities and separatists”, the presidency said.

“The leaders spoke out in favour of organising a third round of consultations between representatives of Kiev and southeastern regions,” Kremlin said in a statement.

In similar telephonic conversations on Sunday, EU leaders urged Ukraine to extend the ceasefire deadline.

Ukrain’s Poroshenko had put forth a peace plan to end the conflict that has killed more than 400 people since April.

Source: News Agencies