Ukraine and Russia agree to implement ceasefire
After negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, the two countries have agreed to implement a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine by the end of 2019. The presidents met in Paris on Monday, and the discussion was brokered by the leaders of France and Germany. The talks follow a prisoner swap and the withdrawal of Ukraine’s military from three key areas. Over five years of fighting between Russian backed rebels and Ukrainian government forces have cost over 13,000 lives.
The countries agreed to the exchange of all detainees by the end of 2019, as well as to disengage military forces in three additional areas of Ukraine by March of 2020. President Zelensky claims that although the two countries continue to disagree on key issues, Russian gas exports via pipelines through Ukraine have been unblocked after a dispute about tariffs, and an agreement is in the works.