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Russia Says Ministers To Discuss Ukraine Deal Implementation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he plans to meet with his counterparts from Ukraine, Germany, and France on April 13 to discuss the implementation of a deal meant to end the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russian news agencies reported on April 9 that the meeting will take place in Berlin.

Talks in Minsk between the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia produced a February 12 agreement on a cease-fire and steps aimed to resolve disputes between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists who control parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.

Fighting between the rebels and government forces has killed more than 6,000 people since April 2014, many of them civilians.

Fighting has decreased markedly since the cease-fire took effect, but each side accuses the other of frequent violations.

Disagreements over political aspects of the Minsk accord, such as elections, have undermined the chances of ending the conflict.

Lavrov said he has sent messages to the three other ministers "in which I was very blunt about the need to stop boycotting the implementation of the Minsk agreements."

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax