WESTERN leaders yesterday criticised Russia for its ‘destabilising’ influence on the crisis in Ukraine, at the start of a Nato summit in Wales.
Nato and the UK warned that pressure on Russia would be increased if it did not change course in eastern Ukraine.
Prior to the summit, Ukraine’s president briefed US and EU leaders on earlier discussions on a ceasefire plan with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Wednesday, President Poroshenko had said he had agreed a ‘ceasefire process’ during telephone talks with President Putin.
Following the conversation, Putin announced a seven-point peace plan.
The Putin plan called for:
• The Ukrainian army and eastern rebels should stop ‘active offensive operations’
• Ukrainian troops must pull back to a distance where they would be unable to shell population centres
• International monitoring of the ceasefire
• No use of military jets against civilians
• An ‘All-for-all’ prisoner exchange without preconditions
• Humanitarian corridor for refugees and to deliver aid
• Restoration of destroyed infrastructure.
However NATO’s chief warmonger, Secretary General Rasmussen, yesterday rubbished the ceasefire plan, calling Putin ‘insincere’.
He told the BBC: ‘I think the bottom line is that the Russians are not sincerely interested in a ceasefire. They continue to destabilise eastern Ukraine.’
NATO leaders are also set to discuss the rise of Islamic State (IS), and Afghanistan, where Taliban militants launched a deadly attack on a government compound on Thursday.
Rasmussen said the summit was taking place in a ‘dramatically changed security environment,’ with Russia ‘attacking Ukraine’.
‘We are still witnessing unfortunately Russian involvement in destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine,’ he said.
The alliance is expected to approve plans to create a rapid response force composed of several thousand troops from member states, able to deploy within 48 hours.