The Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers meeting in Berlin have agreed a package of measures to try to stop the fighting.
They include holding talks involving pro-Moscow rebels.
During discussions involving France and Germany, all sides called for a contact group to meet by the weekend to seek a lasting truce.
Moscow has agreed to allow Ukrainian guards to cross the border into Russian territory to monitor the frontier together with Russian forces.
The German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the measures agreed in Berlin as “a clear commitment to a multilateral ceasefire”.
European military observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe – the OSCE – are to be invited to join the process.
The agreement brings no guarantee that the fighting will stop, but the fact that Russia and Ukraine met face to face is seen as progress.
Kyiv has resumed its offensive against rebel targets in the east, saying the other side had not respected a previous ceasefire.
Russia and Ukraine continue to blame each other for the violence.