The leaders of Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine have renewed their support for a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine during phone discussions between them.
The office of the French presidency said in a statement on December 30 that the four leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to the "concerted withdrawal without delay of heavy weapons."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko reportedly spoke by phone for two hours in their first discussions since meeting in Paris on October 2.
The four leaders emphasized the need to follow through on the Minsk peace accords over the coming year, including preparations for local elections at the start of 2017 in areas of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels.
The French president's office also said that the foreign ministers from the four countries are due to meet to discuss the peace process in greater detail by early February.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP