Updated 02:03 (MSK)
BRUSSELS, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis should be accompanied by permanent monitoring of the Russian-Ukrainian border and withdrawal of military groups, a spokesperson of the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
"Permanent monitoring of the Russian-Ukrainian border and withdrawal of illegal armed groups and forces, illegally operating on Ukrainian territory, should be integral parts of such a solution," the statement reads.
"The EU stands ready to support any efforts, related to the implementation of the ceasefire, including through the OSCE. We will continue to follow closely the developments on the ground," the spokesperson added.
Earlier on Friday, members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation had a meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, during which they agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and humanitarian aid. The ceasefire agreement came into force at 6 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT).
The Secretary-General said Friday that “credible and comprehensive monitoring and verification are essential elements” of successful implementation of the ceasefire.
Despite the announced ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, city authorities of Donetsk reported that shelling continued in the city.
Friday’s talks in Minsk involved representatives from Kiev government, Ukrainian southeastern regions, Russia and the OSCE.
On Wednesday, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko, in a phone conversation discussed the first steps to be taken to bring an end to the bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine.
Following the conversation with his counterpart, President Putin laid out a seven-point plan that could help find a solution. The plan called on Kiev to withdraw troops from southeastern regions of the country and militia to cease military advances. The plan also included proposals for an international monitoring force, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor, a ban on the use of combat aircraft over urban areas, an exchange of prisoners in an «all for all» formula and direct repair-crew access to destroyed infrastructure in the war-ravaged areas.