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Poroshenko To Visit Brussels Soon For Talks On Future Of Minsk Deal

The European Commission said on August 18 that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko plans to visit Brussels within the next two week to discuss a recent surge in violence in eastern Ukraine that has cast doubts on a cease-fire deal between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.

Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidhardt did not announce a specific date for Poroshenko’s visit but said it would take place before the end of August.

Skirmishes between government forces and separatists around Ukraine’s southeastern port city of Mariupol raised concerns that a fragile cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk in February could break down completely.

The Minsk agreement is meant to be fully implemented by the end of 2015.

OSCE monitors have accused both sides of violations.

The European Union faces new decision in the coming month about sanctions it has imposed on Russia after pledging to lift them only after all conditions of the Minsk deal are met.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa