• France's news in English

France insists Ukraine ceasefire deal not dead

AFP/The Local · 18 Feb 2015, 13:07

Published: 18 Feb 2015 13:07 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

France said on Wednesday that the Ukraine ceasefire deal signed last week "was not dead" and it would do "everything to keep the agreement alive" despite the capture of a key town by pro-Russian

"We will continue, we know we have some problems, we know that not everything has been settled," said French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll. "But between the situation just before the Minsk agreement and the situation now... there has been progress.

French President Francois Hollande will speak on the phone with his German, Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on Wednesday evening, a French government spokesman said.

The call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko follows the capture of the key strategic town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian rebels, which has threatened the tentative ceasefire agreement signed last week.

Speaking on Tuesday France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that "fundamental" parts of the ceasefire deal in Ukraine were not being followed, despite a reduction in fighting between government and rebel forces.

"We can say the ceasefire is being generally respected, but there are two major 'buts'," Fabius told the French parliament.

He said "extremely heavy fighting" was continuing around the contested town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine, which pro-Russian rebels claim was not covered by the ceasefire agreement which came into force on Saturday.

Nor has there been a withdrawal of heavy weapons as planned, said Fabius.

Story continues below…

"Clearly, these two aspects are fundamental."

France and Germany led the way in pushing for the truce deal in a bid to end the 10-month conflict that has claimed some 5,500 lives.

"Between the agreement on paper and the agreement on the ground, there are clearly differences," said Fabius.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

'New migrants arrive in Calais' despite 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available