Kiev: Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany have agreed to hold a meeting of their deputy foreign ministers on Friday to discuss the possibility of sending peacekeeping forces to the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian presidency announced on its official website that the agreement came during a conference call on Monday night between Presidents Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Francois Hollande of France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"The parties have agreed to hold deliberations on Friday for the deputy foreign ministers to discuss, inter alia, the issue of peacekeepers," Efe news agency quoted the statement issued late on Monday as saying.
Ukraine recommended sending peacekeepers not only to the separation line of the conflict zone, but also to the area bordering Russia, currently controlled by pro-Russian separatists and where they, according to Kiev, receive reinforcements and weaponry from Moscow.
The pro-Russians categorically opposed sending non-Russian peacekeepers, and have warned that such a step would lead to the end of the peace deal which was agreed upon in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 12.
During the conference call, the leaders supported the Ukrainian proposal to deploy observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) where violations of the ceasefire have taken place.
They also agreed on the need for the OSCE to issue daily reports on the truce violations, which should then be forwarded to the foreign ministries of the four countries.
The Ukrainian presidency said that Poroshenko, Hollande and Merkel have asked Putin once again for the immediate release of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who is currently on hunger strike in a Russian prison.