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France, Germany discuss Ukraine crisis with Poroshenko

People shop at a damaged market in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on December 14, 2014The leaders of France and Germany discussed a shaky ceasefire deal and economic reforms for Ukraine in a telephone call with President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to the Ukrainian president about a ceasefire agreed in September, prisoner exchanges and possible renewed dialogue with Ukraine’s separatists in the east, said a statement from the French presidency. The eight-month-old conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has left at least 4,634 dead and 10,243 wounded, and displaced more than 1.1 million people, according to UN figures. The International Monetary Fund’s number two David Lipton said Saturday he was “impressed” by Ukraine’s plans for reform after lawmakers approved a government programme of severe austerity cuts.

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