'Glimmer of hope' for Ukraine after deal at Minsk peace summit

February 12th, 2015  
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Topic: 'Glimmer of hope' for Ukraine after deal at Minsk peace summit

By Vladimir Soldatkin and Pavel Polityuk MINSK (Reuters) - Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed a deal on Thursday that offers a "glimmer of hope" for an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine after marathon overnight talks. The deal envisages a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists starting on Sunday, followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line and constitutional reform to give eastern Ukraine more autonomy. "The main thing which has been achieved is that from Saturday into Sunday there should be declared, without any conditions at all, a general ceasefire," a visibly downbeat Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told journalists. Emerging separately from more than 16 hours of negotiations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the sponsors of the talks, differed with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the reasons they took so long.


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