'Difficult' Ukraine talks end without breakthrough

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'Difficult' Ukraine talks end without breakthrough

'Difficult' Ukraine talks end without breakthrough
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Talks in Berlin aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict in Ukraine have broken up without any substantial result, according to Germany’s foreign minister.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the discussions with his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France as “difficult”, but said progress had been made on some issues.

“Our aim remains to do all we possibly can to bring about a ceasefire in Ukraine, and to avoid further casualties in the future as far as possible,” he said, adding that the door remained open for talks to continue.

Meanwhile on the ground in Ukraine fighting has continued in Donetsk, the eastern rebel-held city now surrounded by government forces.

It is not clear what caused explosions that were clearly visible on the city’s skyline, but local authorities said at least 10 civilians were killed as clashes continued throughout Sunday.

Reports say Ukrainian troops have raised their national flag over Luhansk in what could be a breakthrough in government forces’ attempts to crush pro-Russian separatists.

Yesterday a military convoy led by pro-Russian rebels was seen driving towards Krasnodon near the border.

It is unclear whether the column of armoured vehicles had crossed from Russia.

A Russian humanitarian convoy is still stuck at the border.