The German, French, Russian and Ukrainian leaders have held talks in Berlin to review the progress made in implementing the Ukraine peace deal. There were also reports of rebels fighting with Kyiv's forces.
The foreign ministers of Germany, Russia, France and Ukraine met in Berlin on Monday to see how much progress had been achieved in eastern Ukraine after Kyiv and rebels in its east signed a ceasefire deal some months ago.
German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier said that "a degree of calm" had been achieved in eastern Ukraine, but that "it was too early to give the all clear."
Steinmeier said that his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and France's Laurent Fabius would concentrate on creating optimum conditions for organizing elections. The leaders would also discuss exchanging prisoners, one of the conditions that Kyiv and the separatists agreed to in the peace deal signed earlier this year in Belarus' capital Minsk.
Speaking to journalists, the German foreign minister said that "undoubtedly there was some sort of calm," but that the ceasefire was not being observed in "two or three" other points elaborated in the Minsk deal. The agreement was "more than a ceasefire" and that is why the meeting of foreign ministers was to focus on "introducing a political process," Steinmeier told reporters.
Earlier in the day, separatist spokesman Eduard Basurin informed journalists about fresh fighting with Kyiv's forces, in which four rebel fighters were injured. The Ukrainian Security Council also reported one soldier dying and six others getting injured in the past 24 hours.
More than 6,000 people have died since war broke out between Kyiv and separatists in its east over a year ago. Western countries have accused Russia of supporting the rebels, imposing severe sanctions on the country. Moscow has denied the charges.
mg/rc (dpa, AFP)