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Ministers Meeting In Paris To Review Progress On Minsk Accords


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (file photo)

The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany have begun meeting in Paris to discuss implementation of the peace plan for Ukraine set up under the Minsk accords in February 2015.

Ahead of the March 3 talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said France and Germany expect "real progress" from Ukraine and Russia on resolving the conflict between government forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

"We will say very clearly...we must really advance, first in consolidating the cease-fire and secondly in restarting the political process," Steinmeier said.

The Minsk accord, reached by leaders of the four countries, contains a package of measures aimed at bringing an end to fighting in Ukraine’s east.

But Kyiv claims Russia is violating the Minsk agreement by sending troops and weapons to back up pro-Russia separatists in the east.

Ukraine has so far failed in its obligation under the accord to enact reforms that would increase autonomy for Ukraine's eastern regions and allow local elections there.

Steinmeier said on February 23 that infighting among political parties in Ukraine's governing coalition cannot be allowed to prevent Kyiv from carrying out its reform obligations under the Minsk accords.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP