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German, Russian, Ukrainian, French foreign ministers set for Monday meeting in Berlin

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BERLIN — Germany's foreign minister has invited his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France to Berlin Monday to discuss implementation of the peace agreement brokered in Minsk, Belarus in February.

The Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the meeting for Monday evening at a government guest house in Berlin.

The conflict between Russia-backed rebels and government troops in eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 6,000 lives. The German and French leaders brokered a cease-fire deal in Minsk in an effort to stem the bloodshed, and hostilities have subsided although differences remain on the way forward.

France's Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius believes that "some progress" has been achieved on the ground despite cease-fire violations.

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