Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday ordered his country's military to withdraw its weapons and implement a new ceasefire starting this weekend.
The ceasefire, which begins Saturday, is designed to counter Russian allegations that Ukraine has not made a significant effort to restore peace in its conflict-ridden eastern regions, Poroshenko said after talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Malta.
"Unfortunately we are not very optimistic that the other side will follow the agreement," Poroshenko said in comments carried by Ukrainian media.
Representatives of the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels from eastern Ukraine agreed to a new ceasefire during talks in Minsk on Wednesday.
The pro-Western leadership in Kiev and the rebels have been fighting for three years despite numerous attempts at implementing a ceasefire.
Ukraine is beleaguered by financial problems and expects several hundred million euros in aid from the European Union in the coming weeks.
The conflict erupted in early 2014 when Ukraine ousted its pro-Russian president amid mass protests calling for closer ties with the West. Russia has denounced the ouster as a Western-backed coup.