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Foreign ministers meet in Berlin to discuss Ukraine crisis

Top envoys from Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine have met to discuss the ongoing peace process. Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier said progress had been made, but there was still more to be done.

The foreign ministers met in Berlin on Friday to discuss ways to move the peace process in Ukraine forward. In addition to Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier, France's Laurent Fabius, Russia's Sergei Lavrov and Ukraine's Pavlo Klimkin took part in the meeting.

Steinmeier said that significant process had been made in the war-torn country, with all sides adhering to a recent ceasefire agreement. Because of this, he said, the situation in Ukraine had calmed down visibly.

"That is good, but it's not enough," he told reporters, according to AFP news agency.

More work to be done

He added that getting humanitarian assistance to people in the embattled eastern regions of the country needed to be a priority. Since the ceasefire, life has returned somewhat to normal, with many of the refugees who fled during the war returning to their homes. However, life remains difficult, with infrastructure in poor condition and basic necessities in short supply.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko drew criticism after authorities arrested political opponent Hennadiy Korban, in what critics said was an echo of the sort of persecution tactics utilized by ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Poroshenko's government has drawn accusations of corruption and poor leadership. Nonetheless, Steinmeier praised the recent elections held in separatist areas.

blc/rc (dpa, AFP)

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