Ukraine crisis:ceasefire deal reached

Added On February 13, 2015

The ceasefire deal has been clinched after intensive four-way talks between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in Belarus.

The deal contains the conditions for the ceasefire starting on Sunday, with the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
Following 14-hour marathon talks, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, on Thursday sealed a peace deal in Belarusian capital of Minsk.
The deal, which is due to take effect on Sunday, will bring an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine. 
"We agreed on a lot. We agreed on the ceasefire starting from midnight of February 15."
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Kiev and pro-independence insurgents have signed a roadmap to implement the deal aimed at bringing an end to the 10-month conflict.
The document contains the conditions for the ceasefire starting on Sunday, with the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the creation of a demilitarized zone.
However, the two sides remain sceptical, with Poroshenko describing the talks as "very difficult" and saying he expects the implementation of the deal not to be easy.
Following the talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged all parties to show restraint in the days following the implementation of the deal.
Putin also stressed the importance of constitutional reform and the implementation of a "special status" for the rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine.
"We still call on both sides to restrain themselves, and in order to avoid bloodshed and victims, to do everything so the withdrawal is without excessive bloodshed."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had "no illusions" and that much work needs to be done to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande called the outcome "a relief for Europe".
The new deal is the second ceasefire agreement reached among the parties, also referred to as the 'Normandy Four'.
The first truce, which was also struck in Minsk last September, was broken and violence continued. 
The latest truce comes as violence in the region has sharply escalated in recent weeks.
The 10-month Ukraine conflict has left more than 5,000 dead and over 12,000 wounded.