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Donbas ceasefire breaches worry Germany
Journal Staff Report

KYIV, May 12 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said she was deeply concerned by repeated breaches of a ceasefire between government forces and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, AFP reported.

"Every night there are violations of the ceasefire and every day there are human casualties," Merkel said in the central Italian town of Assisi, where she received a prize for her efforts to promote peace.

"Ukraine concerns us and in the 'Normandy Format' -- which groups Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine -- we try to get the Minsk (ceasefire) accords respected," she said.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine began in 2014 after mass protests ousted a pro-Russian government in Kiev, with more than 10,000 people dead so far despite repeated efforts to get successive ceasefires to stick, the last dating to the end of March.

President Petro Poroshenko said he discussed with Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron a "roadmap" for the implementation of the Minsk agreements with the mandatory involvement of a UN peacekeeping force.

"We carefully discussed our possible steps, a 'roadmap' for the implementation of the Minsk agreements with the mandatory use of peacekeepers," Poroshenko said after a meeting with the German and French leaders in Aachen (Germany) on Thursday.

He said the security component of the Minsk agreements "cannot be carried out without a full-fledged peacekeeping force in the occupied Donbas."

Poroshenko said Merkel and Macron supported this position, as the United States had previously done.

Poroshenko expressed confidence that Russia should support a draft resolution of the UN Security Council, taking into account the Minsk agreements and the deployment of a peacekeeping force to the occupied territory of the Donbas.

"We clearly state that the Russians should support the draft resolution with a clearly outlined roadmap, taking into account the Minsk agreements and taking into account the peacekeepers, and this should be included in the decision of the UN Security Council, which is absolutely crucial for us," Poroshenko said. (afp/ez)

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