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Russia, Ukraine reaffirm commitment to cease-fire deal

Putin, Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande renew support to Minsk cease-fire deal, amid fresh clashes in eastern Ukraine

Ayhan Şimşek   | 30.12.2015
Russia, Ukraine reaffirm commitment to cease-fire deal

Berlin

BERLIN

The leaders of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France have reaffirmed their commitment to the Minsk cease-fire deal on Wednesday, amid an escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and French President Francois Hollande have discussed the developments in a conference call, German deputy government spokesman Christiane Wirtz said in a written statement Wednesday. 

“The leaders have declared their continued support to the full implementation of the package of measures of the Minsk agreement, also in the year 2016,” she said.

“They have underlined the importance of the withdrawal of heavy weapons and a comprehensive cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. The coming days should be used to consolidate the cease-fire,” she added.

The phone discussion came after fresh clashes in Donetsk over the weekend, which claimed the lives of one Ukrainian soldier and two civilians.

Wirtz said the leaders also discussed the preparations for the local elections in the Donbass region in the 2016.

The leaders have instructed their foreign ministers to meet late January and early February to review the progress in the implementation of the package of measures of the Minsk agreement.

Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko and Putin held their first talks on the Ukrainian crisis in Normandy, France in June 2014, on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Since then, parties held various four-party meetings at the leader, foreign minister and senior diplomat level, called the “Normandy format” talks.

More than 9,000 people have lost their lives due to the conflict between the Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists since mid-April 2014, according to the UN.

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