France and Germany believe the ceasefire in Ukraine is “generally” being observed, a statement from the French presidency says. But the countries’ leaders, who helped broker the truce, said some “local incidents” must be “quickly” resolved.
Shelling has continued around the besieged town of Debaltseve. However, fighting in the area is reported to have lowered in intensity since the ceasefire began at midnight Saturday (22:00 GMT). Pro-Russian rebels had previously said they were entitled to fire in the town, as they believe the territory belongs to them.
Meanwhile, a military spokesman said Ukrainian troops had come under fire 60 times in the hours after the truce came into force, AFP reports. The spokesman said Debaltseve continued to be the scene of most clashes. The town – a key transport hub – has been the object of some of the fiercest fighting in the conflict zone in recent weeks, and the ongoing struggle there appears to pose the gravest threat to the truce.
The OSCE’s Michael Bociurkiw: “There has been an exchange of artillery fire and I believe that is ongoing” OSCE monitors agree that the truce appears to be generally holding, but complain they have been denied access to Debaltseve. In Sunday’s statement, the French presidency said leaders of the four countries that negotiated the truce last week – France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia – had held more talks on Sunday.