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Russian, German, French, Ukrainian FMs meet in Berlin for talks

July 02, 2014, 19:31 UTC+3 BERLIN
The leaders continued to “discuss ways to settle the acute crisis in Ukraine”, the Kremlin press service says
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© EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

BERLIN, July 02./ITAR-TASS/. The foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine are meeting in Berlin in a bid to “attempt again to stop the bloodshed in Ukraine” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministers posed for a joint photo before the talks.

The agreement to hold the meeting was reached on June 30 in a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The leaders continued to “discuss ways to settle the acute crisis in Ukraine”, the Kremlin press service said.

We hope that the Russian president’s initiative will allow everyone on whom it depends to support and ensure the adoption of the decision to extend the period of ceasefire and truce Sergei Lavrov Russia's Foreign Minister “Putin stressed the need to extend the ceasefire and create a reliable mechanism for monitoring compliance with it, with the active role of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe),” it said.

The leaders called for organising the next round of consultations between representatives of Kiev and south-eastern regions at the earliest opportunity and agreed to instruct their foreign ministers to get in touch with each other promptly in order to work out the issues touched upon by the presidents during their conference call.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained later that Putin had “suggested that representatives of Ukraine’s border service and OSCE observers be placed at these border-crossing points on the Russian territory for joint control of the border”.

“We hope that the Russian president’s initiative will allow everyone on whom it depends to support and ensure the adoption of the decision to extend the period of ceasefire and truce,” he concluded.

A ceasefire between the Ukrainian government troops and the militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in the south-east of Ukraine expired at 23:00 Moscow time on June 30.

The ceasefire was announced on June 20. On June 27, Poroshenko extended it for 72 hours until 22:00 Kiev time (23:00 Moscow time) June 30.

The government troops have repeatedly violated the ceasefire by shelling different towns and populated localities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Last night alone, Russian Channel One cameraman Anatoly Klyan was killed in one of such attacks in Donetsk.

Kiev’s army operation against the supporters of federalisation in the south-east of Ukraine began in April. Since then dozens of peaceful people were killed and hundreds wounded, and many hundred houses were damaged during the raids carried out by the army, the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and militants from the far-right group Right Sector.

Thousands of Ukrainians had to flee their homes, most of them seeking refuge in Russia.

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