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Barack Obama

Is Ukraine 'ceasefire' for real?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - 02:21

World markets jumped after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said a ceasefire had been reached with Russia. But will it last? Ivor Bennett reports

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There's barely a building unscathed. This is Spartak near Donetsk - recovering from heavy shelling overnight. But the end of the crisis could be in sight. Ukraine defence spokesman Andriy Lysenko. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN, ANDRIY LYSENKO, SAYING: "Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko held a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a result of the conversation, an agreement was reached about a ceasefire in the Donbass region." The details of the agreement are still unclear. Moscow stressing it is not a ceasefire as such, as Russia is not part of the conflict. Despite the confusion, markets welcomed the news. European shares rose to a two month high, the euro also climbing. The optimism though is still cautious says Rabobank's Jane Foley. SOUNDBITE (English) JANE FOLEY, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, SAYING: "We have seen news such as this, we have seen many people anticipate that maybe Russia wants to put out headlines like this so there is potential easing of the next bundle of sanctions. So there is a lot of scepticism but at the same time surely it is a step in the right direction." That scepticism is shared by President Obama - in Estonia to reassure NATO members in the region who fear further Russian aggression. The US and the West accuse Moscow of supporting the rebels and are poised to act, ceasefire or not. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "The sanctions we have applied so far have had a real effect on Russia and I think it is important for us to continue to impose costs on Russia, so long as it is violating basic principles of international law." Obama's visit to the Baltic comes on the eve of a NATO summit in Wales, and represents the kind of support Kiev craves. Prime Minster Arseny Yatseniuk reiterating Ukraine's desire to join the alliance. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER, ARSENY YATSENIUK, SAYING: "Russia is a terrorist state and a state-aggressor, and will bear responsibility according to the rules of international law." Kiev has also outlined plans to shore up its border, citing this footage as evidence that Russian troops are active on Ukrainian soil. According to the UN, over 2600 people have died in the conflict, more than a million driven from their homes. For those left, a ceasefire can't come soon enough.

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Is Ukraine 'ceasefire' for real?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - 02:21