(USATODAY.com) - Hostilities between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have escalated as Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko was said Friday to be about to unveil a 14-point peace plan to curb an ongoing insurgency.
On Thursday, government security forces claimed to have killed about 300 separatists in fierce clashes 60 miles from the border with Russia, the Reuters news agency reported. The government said seven from its own military forces were killed.
Details of the peace plan, which appeared in local Ukrainian media, promise for Kiev's power to be decentralized and call for rebels to immediately disarm.
The development comes after Poroshenko earlier this week called for a unilateral ceasefire and also said that he will sign an association agreement with the European Union on June 27.
NATO said Thursday that Russia has resumed its military buildup along the border with Ukraine border in an apparent attempt to intimidate its neighbor.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken to Poroshenko about the peace initiative.
In a statement released late Thursday, the Kremlin said Putin stressed the need for Kiev to end its military operations in the Lugansk and Donestsk regions.