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Talks On Ukraine End With Vow Not To Let Peace Deal Break Down

The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany tried on June 23 to revive high-end diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, amid escalating fighting.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said afterward that the four agreed to "not allow a breakdown" of a peace deal reached in February.

"There is a sense that there are powers who would like to destroy this process," Lavrov told reporters in Paris. "I won't name them. But such forces exist. Many for different reasons prefer military, security scenarios; many do not want the situation to calm down, but to the contrary they want it to worsen. Today all four ministers firmly spoke out against such efforts."

He and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier complained of routine violations of a cease-fire agreed in the February deal, negotiated by Germany and France.

The quartet of foreign ministers called for a quick deescalation of hostilities to allow progress on longer-term aspects of the peace deal.

Those include an array of political, security, humanitarian and economic questions such as the contentious issue of autonomy for the rebel regions.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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