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AP Interview: NATO head says Ukraine ceasefire top priority but must be properly monitored

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MUNICH — NATO's chief says his top priority will be supporting French and German efforts to bring about a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, but if a truce is negotiated it must be monitored so the Russian-backed separatists don't use it to regroup and rearm.

PHOTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, answers questions by AP Chief Correspondent Germany, David  Rising,  center, while AP video journalist Dorothee Thiesing , right, takes pictures  during an interview with The Associated Press,  at  the 51. Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. The conference on security policy takes place from Feb. 6, 2015 until Feb. 8, 2015.  (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, answers questions by AP Chief Correspondent Germany, David Rising, center, while AP video journalist Dorothee Thiesing , right, takes pictures during an interview with The Associated Press, at the 51. Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. The conference on security policy takes place from Feb. 6, 2015 until Feb. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told The Associated Press on Friday on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference that the situation in Ukraine is "critical."

He says that's "why it's important to fully support this new initiative" by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, who met with leaders in Kiev before talking Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

If a truce is negotiated, he says "it is extremely important that we have effective systems of monitoring, of making sure the cease-fire is respected."

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