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Talks in Berlin end with no ceasefire agreement

CCTV.com

08-19-2014 10:41 BJT

The four-month-old conflict in Ukraine’s east has reached a critical phase. The foreign ministers of both countries finally held talks in Berlin. The meeting hasn’t produced a resolution on a ceasefire agreement, with progress made only on Ukraine allowing in Russia’s humanitarian aid deliveries. 

The Ukrainian military is accusing "pro-Russia separatists of killing dozens of civilians in an attack on a convoy. The victims were fleeing the fighting near the rebel stronghold of Luhansk, but the rebels deny any attack took place."

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov (From L to R) pose for a photo before the urgent meeting in Berlin, Germany, on Aug.17, 2014. (Xinhua/Guo Yang)

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov (From L to R) pose for a photo before the urgent meeting in Berlin, Germany, on Aug.17, 2014. (Xinhua/Guo Yang)

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov (From L to R) pose for a photo before the urgent meeting in Berlin, Germany, on Aug.17, 2014. (Xinhua/Guo Yang)

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov (From L to R) pose for a photo before the urgent meeting in Berlin, Germany, on Aug.17, 2014. (Xinhua/Guo Yang)

The tensions in eastern Ukraine is showing no signs of easing. Talks in Berlin among the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany ended without agreement on how to end more than months of conflict that has killed more than 21-hundred people and left the region facing a humanitarian catastrophe.

"We are not able to report on positive results about reaching a ceasefire, in the first place, and about the political process. The ceasefire is the most pressing issue because people die, the infrastructure is being destroyed daily," said Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister.

The United Nations estimates about 300-thousand people have fled the fighting in eastern Ukraine. Rebel leaders accuse Kiev’s forces of targeting civilian areas and say they are on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.

"Today in the morning our residents woke up to find no water in the tap. You already know about the water issue… a city of 1.5 million without water because the Ukrainian authorities deliberately destroyed the power lines that supply the pumping stations," said Alexander Zakharcheko, self-proclaimed PM of Donetsk People's Republic.

Meanwhile, the trucks from Moscow’s controversial humanitarian aid convoy were still sitting on the Russian side of the border on Monday.

Russia and Ukraine have been in a dispute over this convoy, but Lavrov says all issues have now been resolved.

But it’s not clear if the Russian Foreign Minister’s comments referred to security guarantees. The International Committee for the Red Cross says it’s still waiting for security guarantees from the separatists that the convoy will not be attacked or stopped as it passes through rebel territory.

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