Europe

French, German ministers in Ukraine to revive peace deal

  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, centre, shake hands with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault , right, and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier during their visit in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, for talks with top Ukrainian officials on ways to resolve one of Europe's deadliest wars in more than a decade and prop up a tentative ceasefire. (Genya Savilov/pool photo via AP)

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, centre, shake hands with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault , right, and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier during their visit in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, for talks with top Ukrainian officials on ways to resolve one of Europe's deadliest wars in more than a decade and prop up a tentative ceasefire. (Genya Savilov/pool photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, speaks to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a joint news conference after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, speaks to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a joint news conference after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attend a news conference after their meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    From left, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attend a news conference after their meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)  (The Associated Press)

French and German foreign ministers are visiting Ukraine to shore up a 2015 peace deal that has floundered amid continuing fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko Wednesday to discuss ways to secure a durable cease-fire and implement the political provisions of the Minsk agreement, which was brokered by France and Germany.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatist rebels and Ukrainian government troops has killed more than 9,500 people since it began in April 2014. The February 2015 deal helped end large-scale battles, but smaller clashes have continued to claim lives and political settlement has stalled.

Separatist rebels on Tuesday declared a unilateral cease-fire, and Steinmeier said that Ukraine agreed to observe the truce starting midnight Wednesday, according to Interfax.