Foreign ministers meet in Paris on Ukraine crisis
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius, right, meets with his counterparts from Russia Sergei Lavrov, second right, Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier, second left, and Ukraine's Pavlo Klimkin, right, at the French Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. AP Photo.Foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany were meeting in Paris on Feb. 24 in a bid to salvage a ceasefire deal which has failed to halt fighting in eastern Ukraine.
The meeting comes as pro-Russian separatists kept up their attacks on the key port town of Mariupol and Kiev accused Moscow of torpedoing the deal.
Germany on Monday voiced concern that a "comprehensive truce" remained elusive, but EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the deal was the only hope for peace in Ukraine.
The so-called "Minsk II" truce was hammered out in the Belarussian capital on February 12 in talks backed by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany and a ceasefire came into effect three days later.
"The agreement is 10 days old, we have to insist to make it work. This is what the Ukrainians are asking us, this is what our duty is as Europeans," Mogherini said during a trip to London.
Russia denies Western accusations it is backing and arming the separatists in a conflict that has left more than 5,700 people dead in over 10 months.
"The Russians didn't want this ministerial meeting but we feel it is important to keep up the political pressure," a Ukrainian diplomat told AFP.
The diplomat said no new agreements were expected to be signed in Paris.
"We have enough deals signed. The most important is that Russia respects them."