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Meeting in Berlin, the leaders of Ukraine and Russia have reportedly agreed on plans to draw up a new peace roadmap for eastern Ukraine. Foreign ministers are expected to further discuss the timetable in November.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday that Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia had agreed to draw up a roadmap on how to implement ceasefire arrangements in eastern Ukraine.
"This roadmap should have the sequence of the implementation of the Minsk agreements and guarantee their implementation," Poroshenko told reporters, after talks in Berlin that involved leaders of all four countries.
"Between now and the end of November we have to approve a roadmap," the Ukrainian leader added.
According to Poroshenko, the parties agreed to withdrawals by the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists from four defined frontline areas in the conflict-torn Donbass region. Foreign ministers from Germany and France, as well as Russia and Ukraine, are expected to discuss the timetable further in November.
The talks on Wednesday involved Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany to present request
It was also reportedly agreed that a mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could be armed as it carries out future monitoring of the Minsk peace agreement. Poroshenko said that Germany, which is current chair of the OSCE, would be asked to present the mission proposal to the organization.
The OSCE has already said it would consider sending such a mission to the troubled zones, which include the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Separatist violence flared in eastern Ukraine in 2014, with some 9,600 people killed so far. The fighting has continued despite a peace agreement reached in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, last year.
rc/jr (dpa, Reuters)