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Germany, France Call For Curb In Ukraine Cease-Fire Violations, Russia's Return To JCCC

Russian military officers serving at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) march in the town of Soledar, Ukraine, on December 17.

Germany and France have urged all sides involved in an increase in cease-fire violations in eastern Ukraine to stop their actions and implement already agreed moves because there is no alternative to an exclusively peaceful settlement of the conflict.

A joint statement signed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on December 23 also called for a return of Russian officers to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) for the cease-fire in the conflict region.

Ukrainian officials have said that Russia's December 18 withdrawal from the body undermines the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's operations and is an attempt by the Kremlin to force Kyiv into talks with representatives of the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS