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#Otv: Ukraine’s Poroshenko sworn in and sets out peace plan

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Petro Poroshenko has been sworn in as president of Ukraine, setting out a plan to bring peace to the conflict-torn east of the country.

The 48-year-old tycoon, who won the 25 May election, offered political concessions to people in the east and said he did not want war or revenge.

But he also said he had told Russia’s president that Crimea, which Moscow has annexed, would “always be Ukrainian”.

Some separatists dismissed the speech, saying they would “never surrender”.

Russia’s ambassador said the address was a “promising declaration of intent”.

Mikhail Zurabov, who attended the inauguration, said Ukraine should end its military operation in the east, provided that militias called a ceasefire and allowed humanitarian access.

Petro Poroshenko called on all who had engaged in armed action to ”lay down their arms”

Kiev says Moscow is backing armed militants in the eastern Donbass area, an accusation that Russia denies.

Clashes continued in some eastern areas on Saturday, with reports of the army shelling the rebel stronghold of Sloviansk and of shooting further south in Mariupol.

‘Huge sacrifice’

Mr Poroshenko was inaugurated in the presence of dozens of foreign dignitaries – including US Vice-President Joe Biden – in parliament in the capital Kiev.

Parliament in Kiev, 6 June The inauguration took place a day after Mr Poroshenko had a brief encounter with the Russian leader
Ukrainian border guards ride armoured personnel carrier along the Ukraine-Russia border near the eastern village of Marynivka. Photo: 6 June 2014 Ukrainian border guards have been involved in fierce fighting with separatists in recent days
A pro-Russian fighter prepares to launch a rocket propelled grenade during clashes near Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. Photo: 2 June 2014 The rebels are continuing to hold a number of government buildings in the east

Mr Poroshenko, the owner of the Roshen chocolates group, laid out a programme for ending the crisis that included an offer of early regional elections in the east and a decentralisation of power to the regional administrations.

He said: “I don’t want war. I don’t want revenge, despite the huge sacrifice of the Ukrainian people.”

 

Read more from the Source: BBC NEWS

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