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Ukraine, Russia agree to new ceasefire

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 10, 2019 - Duration: 01:46s

Ukraine, Russia agree to new ceasefire

The leaders of Russia and Ukraine met in Paris to try and reach peace over east Ukraine, where 13,000 people have died in fighting since 2014.

Caroline Malone reports

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Ukraine, Russia agree to new ceasefire

Groundbreaking peace talks gave some hope for a resolution over conflict in east Ukraine.

The leaders of Russia and Ukraine met for nine hours in Paris on Monday- -brokered by the German Chancellor and French President.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a new commitment to a ceasefire and a prisoner swap.

(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY: "....the participating countries agreed to facilitate the mutual exchange of imprisoned people before December 31, 2019 under the principle 'all for all'." But the status of east Ukraine - parts of which are controlled by Moscow-backed separatists - remains unresolved.

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Ukraine to give the Donbass region a special status.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "The process of achieving a ceasefire needs to be synchronised with the implementation of political reforms in Ukraine ... this means introducing changes to the country's constitution." Since 2014, fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebels has left 13,000 people dead in the region.

Sporadic violence continues despite a 2015 peace deal.

This Paris summit brought Putin and Zelenskiy together for the first time since the Ukrainian leader was elected on a promise to resolve the conflict.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "The fact that we are side by side today in Paris is in itself an important outcome in many ways, a credible relaunch that hasn't been achieved before considering the absence of concrete progress for several years." And the leaders have agreed to work towards another round of talks within four months.'' However, divisions over the fate of east Ukraine still remain.

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