World

Germany to host Ukraine talks in Berlin as fighting persists

Germany's Foreign Ministry says envoys from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will meet this week in Berlin to try and push forward the implementation of a peace deal for eastern Ukraine.

Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters Monday that, due to the "difficult and deteriorating" situation in eastern Ukraine, Germany has scheduled a meeting Tuesday with those countries and a representative from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Ukrainian government has been fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014, after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. The fighting has cost some 10,000 lives.

The diplomats are trying to bridge differences between Russia and Ukraine over implementing the 2015 Minsk deal for eastern Ukraine, which was brokered by Germany and France.