Ukraine leader sees prospects of ceasefire from next Minsk meeting

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and leaders of Russia, France and Germany expect their talks in Minsk, Belarus, on Wednesday to lead to a "swift and unconditional ceasefire", his website said.

A statement from Poroshenko's administration said progress had been made during a phone call between him and Russia's Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Sunday.

"The participants achieved progress in discussing a range of measures for implementation of the Minsk agreements," Poroshenko said referring to a ceasefire plan which took effect last September but was never fully observed and eventually collapsed.

Confirming that the four leaders would meet in Minsk on Wednesday, Poroshenko said: "They (the leaders) also expect that their efforts during the Minsk meeting will lead to a swift and unconditional two-sided ceasefire."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday he expected "important decisions" to be made at the Minsk talks.

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