"According to a statement from the White House, Merkel and US President Barack Obama Thursday voiced support for a sustainable ceasefire in eastern Ukraine through diplomatic means. "
Berlin, July 4 - The leaders of Germany, Ukraine and France discussed developments in Ukraine over telephone, a government spokesperson said here.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko agreed that a bilateral ceasefire and a common approach by Ukraine and Russia to secure their border were preconditions to stabilise the situation.

The three leaders called on Russia to exert its influence to help achieve the goals.

Poroshenko stressed his determination to push ahead with implementation of his peace plan during a ceasefire.

He also pledged to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties as long as fighting continues in his country.

Poroshenko Tuesday ended a 10-day truce in eastern Ukraine and the Ukrainian military resumed its offensive in the states of Donetsk and Lugansk by launching air raids on rebel targets.

At the invitation of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the foreign ministers of France, Russia and Ukraine met Wednesday in Berlin to discuss ways of calming the situation in Ukraine.

According to a statement from the White House, Merkel and US President Barack Obama Thursday voiced support for a sustainable ceasefire in eastern Ukraine through diplomatic means.

They also threatened additional sanctions should Russia fail to take immediate de-escalatory steps, it added.


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