September 4, 2014 / 3:06 PM / 3 years ago

German foreign min upbeat on chances of Ukraine de-escalation

NEWPORT, Wales Sept 4 (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a NATO summit in Wales on Thursday he was moderately optimistic that the crisis in Ukraine was heading towards a de-escalation.

“It would be good and it is urgently necessary for progress to be made in these direct talks here,” he told reporters.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the main pro-Russian rebel leader said they would both order ceasefires on Friday, provided an agreement is signed on a new peace plan to end the five month war in Ukraine’s east. (Reporting by Sabine Siebold in Newport; Writing by Michelle Martin in Berlin; Editing by Stephen Brown)

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