After talks with Ukraine, Russia says parties see need for ceasefire

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Political advisers from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany agreed that a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine needs to be observed after lengthy talks in Paris on Wednesday, Russia’s chief negotiator Dmitry Kozak told reporters.

But many issues relating to a peace deal for the conflict in Eastern Europe remained unresolved after eight hours of negotiations, Kozak told a news conference.

Still, he hopes positions can be changed and said another meeting of the four countries will be held in two weeks in Berlin.

Russia insists it does not intend to invade, but the West has threatened severe economic penalties if it does.

Talks to end the war in eastern Ukraine between Kiev and the Russian-backed separatists have been without real progress for years, but Wednesday’s meeting could be seen as a positive sign of diplomacy.

A French government official told Reuters it was a good sign and a step towards defusing tensions. According to the official, this was the first time in more than two years that the Normandy format had agreed on something and emphasized that an unconditional ceasefire agreement is crucial in the current context.

“This meeting was a test. I think today we saw that the Russians are willing to de-escalate on this issue, which we will see if this is confirmed in two weeks,” the French official said.

*additional information from John Irish of Reuters

Reference: CNN Brasil

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