Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has ordered his troops to halt military operations for 7 days to allow for the disarming of pro-Russian separatists.
Poroshenko visited a military base in Donetsk on Friday. This was his first visit as president to the eastern region where fighting continues. He assumed office on June 7th.
Poroshenko told Ukrainian forces to unilaterally halt military action starting late Friday. He also announced a 15-point peace plan.
Under the plan, pro-Russian separatists will be spared from prosecution if they haven't committed serious crimes. Mercenaries from Russia would be allowed to leave.
The plan also includes delegating more authority to local governments, as well as job creation in the east.
The president says the short-term cease fire is intended to give separatists time to disarm. He adds that should they fail to comply, the military will attack.
Pro-Russian separatists say they will not comply with the president's plan.
Meanwhile, the Russian presidential office released a statement on Friday, saying the steps are not an invitation to peace and negotiations, but are more like an ultimatum for the militias to lay down their arms.
The US Treasury Department on Friday announced that it will freeze the assets of 7 pro-Russian separatist leaders. They will also be prohibited from transacting with US financial institutions.
The 7 include Denys Pushylin, who had unilaterally declared the establishment of the Donetsk People's Republic.
Jun. 20, 2014 - Updated 22:39 UTC