Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has said that fighting in the eastern regions of the country must stop by the “end of this week. ”
According to a statement issued on his website on Sunday, Poroshenko said, " We must end the fighting this week. For me, every day in which people die, every day in which Ukraine pays such a high price, is unacceptable. "
He also said, " And to do that, we must restore the Ukrainian border so that the safety of each Ukrainian citizen is guaranteed. "
The statement came following his talks with an envoy from the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Moscow's ambassador to Kiev. The 48-year-old chocolate tycoon Poroshenko was inaugurated in the presence of dozens of foreign dignitaries in the parliament on Saturday. Western countries have reportedly promised to support Poroshenko following his election victory on May 25. Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking parts in the east have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army for weeks now. On June 2 alone, at least 10 people, including several civilians, were killed during Kiev’s military operations in Luhansk. Also on Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned Ukraine’s government against using extreme force in confrontation with protesters in eastern provinces. On May 12, the Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared independence following local referendums, in which the regions’ residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Kiev. The Kiev government has been conducting military operations in the eastern and southern provinces since mid-April in a bid to root out the pro-Russia demonstrations.