Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have agreed to work on the best way forward for local elections in eastern Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Saturday at the Munich Security Conference.
Steinmeier; his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov; Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin; and Nicolas de Riviere, political director at France’s Foreign Ministry, met in Munich on Saturday, one year after a Ukraine peace deal was agreed in Minsk.
The Ukraine contact group – made up of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) - will consult on "concrete suggestions for better implementation of the ceasefire, preparation for local elections in eastern Ukraine, and to ensure security at these elections,“ Steinmeier said.
Violations of the Ukraine ceasefire are reported nearly daily, but the deal's implementation is imperative if Russia wants to be rid of crippling Western sanctions against its economy. The question of how to conduct elections in the region has been another stumbling block.