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MOSCOW – 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.