FMs of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France hold talks on Ukraine truce, UN force
Iran Press TV
Tue Jun 12, 2018 09:04AM
The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France have held talks in Berlin on the execution of a fragile truce deal for Ukraine as well as the deployment of UN peacekeepers there.
The meeting on Monday was the first among the foreign ministers since February 2017.
Lower-level officials have been meeting regularly in the past four years to try to resolve the persisting conflict in eastern Ukraine between government and pro-Russia forces, during which more than 10,000 people have been killed.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced following the four-way talks that Russia and Ukraine had agreed in principle on a UN peacekeeping mission, noting, however, that their ideas on how to implement the arrangement were still "very much apart."
"Regarding the parameters of a possible UN mission for eastern Ukraine, we agreed to instruct our political directors to continue negotiations not about if but how such a mission could happen and discuss this in the coming weeks," Maas said.
"We know that there was a lack of will to implement these commitments in the past," he further said in a joint press conference with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
According to Maas, all sides also agreed on the need to uphold the Minsk truce agreement from now on, including the removal of heavy armaments from combat zones and a further exchange of prisoners.
He said France and Germany had also offered Ukraine and Russia logistical assistance in securing the minefields across the combat zones.
A ceasefire pact that was signed in February 2015 in Minsk, Belarus, has failed to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, with forces from both sides reportedly violating the peace plan on a nearly daily basis.
"I am firmly convinced that the political negotiations today are also exerting pressure on the ground," the German foreign minister further said, despite the apparent lack of progress in the latest talks.
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