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UN chief urges action on Ukraine peace roadmap

13 february 2015, 11:51

 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Russia and Ukraine on Thursday to follow through on a ceasefire and other commitments to end the 10-month war in east Ukraine, AFP reports.

After marathon talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed with the leaders of Ukraine, France and Germany to a ceasefire beginning on Sunday.

Ban said he "expects the commitments which have been made in Minsk will be respected by the parties," his spokesman said in a statement.

The UN chief urged all sides to "ensure that a genuine and lasting ceasefire will commence on February 15 as agreed, paving the way for a broader political settlement of the conflict, based on the Minsk accords."

The ceasefire is to take effect at midnight Kiev time on Sunday (2200 GMT Saturday) and heavy weapons are to be withdrawn from the frontlines.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that much work remained to be done to restore peace, echoing cautious remarks from other leaders hoping to see the deal implemented on the ground.

The United Nations stands ready to help, Ban said.

At least 5,300 people have died and one million have been driven from their homes in the fighting between pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine and Kiev's forces.

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