Merkel, Macron urge Putin, Poroshenko to support ceasefire in Ukraine

BERLIN- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called for Russia and Ukraine to increase their efforts to implement a fragile ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine.
Merkel and Macron said they were concerned that the security situation in eastern Ukraine had not significantly improved, and were keeping a close watch on the situation. The two leaders held a four-way telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko in the so-called Normandy format on Aug. 22.
"We urge President Putin and President Poroshenko to fully respect their commitments, to support the ceasefire in a public and clear manner, and to ensure that appropriate instructions have been sent to the military and local forces," they said in a joint statement issued by the chancellery in Berlin.
The ceasefire agreement was signed in February 2015 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, but has failed to end the separatist conflict in which some 10,000 people have been killed.