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Burkhalter was quoted by Reuters as saying the ceasefire is “a real opportunity”. He also said the truce should be given time before the West adopts more punitive measures against Russia.
Russian officials and companies came under Western sanctions, including visa bans, asset freezes, and sectoral restrictions for Russia's incorporation of Crimea after a coup in Ukraine in February and for what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in mass protests in Ukraine’s embattled southeast, which Russia has repeatedly denied.
Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR), have killed hundreds of civilians, brought massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s southeast.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during OSCE-mediated talks in Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5.