A senior mediator from Europe's OSCE security body is due to start negotiating the surrender of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Sunday.
Mark Etherington, a British diplomat who is deputy head of the OSCE special mission in Ukraine, is due to start talks in the eastern city of Donetsk on Sunday, officials of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said.
Gunmen occupying public buildings in Donetsk and other Russian-speaking border towns refuse to recognise an accord in Geneva on Thursday by which Russia, Ukraine and Kiev's U.S. and EU allies agreed that the OSCE should oversee the disarmament of militants and the evacuation of occupied facilities and streets.
The Foreign Ministry promised "the suspension of the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation" among a list of initiatives to defuse the crisis issued late on Friday. The SBU state security service said the suspension was "linked to the implementation of the Geneva agreement and the Easter holidays".