Truce accord from Monday in eastern Ukraine: Russian FM
A truce between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian army will come into force on Monday in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Announcing a ceasefire deal brokered at the Munich security conference between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, he called it “positive” but stressed the absence of “major progress” at the meeting.
“It is positive that the contact group (of foreign ministers of the four countries) agreed once again for the start of a ceasefire on February 20,” Lavrov told Russian journalists in Munich.
The agreement also concerns “the start of the withdrawal of heavy arms” in eastern Ukraine, the Russian minister added.
The Munich meeting “examined where we were with the implementation of accords reached” by the presidents of the four countries in Berlin in October, he said.
“We observed that there hasn’t been major progress in terms of results of the decisions taken in Berlin,” he lamented.
Almost three years of fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has killed nearly 10,000 people. Kiev and its western allies claim the rebels have Russian military support, but Moscow denies this.
Despite a ceasefire which went into effect in late December in the east of the country, clashes regularly flare up, killing nearly 30 people in a surge of violence at the start of February.