Ukraine, World Leaders Agree to Roll Out Next Phase of Cease-Fire

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held a telephone conference Sunday with the world leaders responsible for forging the latest cease-fire to the violence in eastern Ukraine that has claimed more than 5,000 lives.

Poroshenko spoke to French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a statement released by his office on Sunday afternoon local time. The office of the French president also released a statement, saying the leaders agreed to continue rolling out the next phase of measures adopted during the marathon talks held in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Thursday. The measures include the withdrawal of heavy weapons, continued monitoring of the cease-fire and launching a dialogue for holding local elections.

The french statement also said they determined that respect for the cease-fire has been largely satisfactory, despite some localized incidents.

The cease-fire, negotiated by the four leaders on Thursday, was implemented on midnight Saturday local time and has largely held, although the Ukrainian military reported shelling in the transport hub of Debaltseve.

President Poroshenko said the four agreed the cease-fire should take place all over the “collision line,” including the city of Debaltseve and that the withdrawal of heavy weapons would be launched only following “comprehensive and unconditional cease-fire,” according to his statement. Talks between the leaders were set to continue on Monday.


— Daniella Silva

NBC News' Cassandra Vinograd and Reuters contributed to this report.