September 11, 2015 / 11:20 AM / in 2 years

Kremlin says extension of east Ukraine peace deal possible

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will agree to roll-over a peace deal for eastern Ukraine if it is not fully implemented this year as intended, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, said on Friday.

A woman uses her tablet as she stands in front of a wall with the portraits of Ukrainian servicemen killed a year ago during fights with pro-Russian rebels near the town of Ilovaysk in eastern Ukraine, during a commemoration ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine, August 29, 2015. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

The so-called Minsk agreements state that various provisions must be implemented before the end of this year. Ushakov said the most important thing was to get them in place as soon as possible and within the existing framework.

“If something is not implemented then it is clear the leaders would agree on some extension,” Ushakov told reporters.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions has killed almost 8,000 people since it erupted in mid-April 2014.

However, the violence has largely subsided since Sept. 1, when the Ukrainian parliament backed giving more autonomy to rebel-held areas, in line with the peace deal.

Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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