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Putin Says Shelling Must Stop In East Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Ukrainian forces must "immediately" stop shelling in Eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin says Putin made the comments in a phone conversation on June 22, ahead of a June 23 meeting in Paris of foreign ministers from Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine.

A source close to the French president was quoted as saying Hollande and Merkel "raised the need to put pressure on the various parties" given the "insufficient" progress in resolving the Ukraine crisis.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists has killed more than 6,400 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

A cease-fire agreement agreed in Minsk in February has proven extremely shaky, with sporadic clashes continuing in parts of the conflict zone.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP