Ukraine hints at ceasefire extension

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Ukraine hints at ceasefire extension

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Pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk held fresh talks with international mediators on Friday as Kyiv showed signs of extending its week-long ceasefire in east Ukraine.

The Interfax news agency reported the OSCE and Ukraine’s ex-president Léonid Koutchma were among those who met the separatists.

Earlier rebel leader Oleg Tsarev welcomed the idea of a prolonged suspension of hostilities.

‘‘We believe that the ceasefire must be extended.This must be carried out with deeds not words. Humanitarian corridors must be set up. Sooner or later this could become a precondition for negotiations,’‘ Tsarev said.

According to two senior EU diplomats Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told European leaders in Brussels on Friday he was planning to extend the ceasefire with rebels by 72 hours to coincide with a European Union deadline on Monday for the separatists to end hostilities and start peace talks with Kyiv.