The foreign ministers of Russia, Germany and Ukraine will gather Tuesday in Paris to discuss the Ukraine crisis, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday, as President François Hollande welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks.
News of the fresh round of diplomacy on Ukraine next week came as Hollande and Merkel warned that fresh sanctions could be implemented if the “Minsk II” ceasefire deal signed February 12 in the Belarusian capital continues to be ignored.
"The ceasefire has been violated several times. It must now be fully respected along the entire front line," Hollande told a joint press conference with Merkel following bilateral talks in Paris on Friday.
Hollande said that “every country that doesn’t keep its word” risks sanctions.
The ceasefire, brokered by France and Germany and signed by Russia and Ukraine, came into effect at midnight on Saturday, but any hopes of bringing an end to the conflict that has ravaged eastern Ukraine for the past year were quickly dashed as fighting continued to rage between government and rebel forces.
The strategic railway hub of Debaltseve has been the scene of particularly bloody exchanges in recent days, with pro-Russian separatists forcing government troops into a humiliating retreat.