Ukrainian president proposes new crisis talks

KIEV, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Friday that he was ready for new European-mediated crisis talks on Saturday to end the violence in the eastern regions.

"To implement the Berlin agreements of the four states' foreign ministers, Ukraine is ready for further work in the trilateral contact group, for the next meeting on July 5 in particular," the presidential press service said on Friday. "Ukraine has proposed the place and time and is expecting the confirmation of other parties."

The Ukrainian president also said he had to resume the military operations against armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, based on the decision by Ukrainian National Security and Defense Service, since the insurgents in the restive Donetsk and Lugansk regions did not cease fire during a 10-day truce.

Poroshenko made the remarks during a phone conversation with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who assured Ukraine of EU's support.

Poroshenko also held joint telephone conversations later on Friday with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who praised the progress made on the foreign ministers' meeting on Wednesday and called on all parties to help implement the joint statement's provisions.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian president's envoy for settling the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk regions Irina Geraschenko said that the third meeting of the OSCE-Ukraine-Russia contact group may be held in Minsk.

On June 23, the Kiev-appointed Donetsk regional administration hosted talks attended by former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, OSCE envoy Heidi Tagliavini, Russian Ambassador Mikhail Zurabov, as well as representatives from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

Consultations between the "contact group" of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk separatists also took place on June 27.

The Foreign Ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine held a meeting in Berlin on Wednesday to discuss ways of calming the situation in Ukraine. They urged the Contact Group to resume with the goal of reaching an unconditional and mutually agreed sustainable ceasefire, which should be monitored by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in conformity with its mandate.

On late Monday, the Ukrainian president announced the termination of the ceasefire by the government forces, which aims to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict in the eastern regions, as the insurgents in the eastern region of Ukraine had allegedly continued their attacks on government troops during the ceasefire, which started from June 21 and later was extended to June 30.

Russia warned on Wednesday that reviving peace talks would be " much more difficult" with Kiev's decision not to extend the truce, while Ukraine and the West blamed the armed militants for not observing the truce and accused Russia of supplying Ukrainian rebels with arms.