French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for the truce that came into force today in Ukraine and called for it to be “the beginning of a lasting cease-fire.”

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In a joint statement, the two leaders expressed “serious concern” about the security situation in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the line of separation Ukrainian and separatist forces.

Hollande and Merkel reaffirm the text “determination to continue every effort” to “full” implementation of the Minsk agreements and reiterated “the commitment to the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine.”

The Contact Group, made up of representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on 26 August to a ceasefire in the conflict zone from 1 September date the beginning of the school year.

The Minsk Agreements predict since February 2015 a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, but the truce has often been violated.

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