BERLIN – The leaders of Germany and France say despite renewed efforts to bring about a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, the situation "has not significantly improved."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron said in a joint statement Monday that despite agreeing in a conference call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to support a new cease-fire attempt, there are still "countless violations," including with heavy weapons.
Merkel and Macron "strongly urge" Putin and Poroshenko "to stick to their commitments completely, to support the cease-fire publicly and clearly and to ensure that the necessary instructions are relayed to the military and forces on the ground."
The leaders had hoped for a lasting cease-fire timed to the new school year. Fighting has killed over 10,000 in eastern Ukraine since 2014.