April 30, 2015 / 5:02 PM / 5 years ago

Western leaders agree ceasefire in Ukraine needs to stabilize: Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts at the start of a cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande held a telephone conversation with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine on Thursday to discuss the fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Merkel’s spokesman said.

“The partners were in agreement over the need to stabilize the still fragile ceasefire in east Ukraine as well as to continue with the withdrawal of heavy weapons,” Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

He said the leaders wanted to intensify the political process by setting up working groups with the pro-Russian separatists and the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine in the next few weeks.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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