04:00 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Donbass militiaman rests at his position inside the Donetsk airport, eastern Ukraine. June 9, 2015.

    US State Department Welcomes Ceasefire Agreement in Eastern Ukraine

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    The United States supports the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine announced by the Contact Group earlier in the day, US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said in a briefing on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Contact Group, comprising envoys from Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, confirmed a ceasefire will come into effect along the line of conflict at midnight on December 24.

    "The United States welcomes the trilateral contact group’s announcement of an agreement for a holiday ceasefire in eastern Ukraine," Kirby told reporters.

    The members of the group emphasized at a meeting in Minsk the importance of ensuring peace during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.

    The eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have been in turmoil since April 2014, when authorities in Kiev launched a military operation against Donbas militia.

    In February 2015, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine – the so-called Normandy Format – in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

    Both sides in the conflict, however, have consistently accused each other of violating the ceasefire terms.

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    contact group, State Department, Donbass, United States, Ukraine
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