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Ukraine peace summit prepares joint deal to end crisis

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Ukraine peace summit prepares joint deal to end crisis
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A peace summit aimed at bringing an end to the Ukraine crisis is underway in Belarus.

The four leaders meeting in Minsk are expected to sign a joint declaration supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, according to a source within the Kyiv delegation.

The quartet are said to have met alone, an unexpected break with diplomatic procedure, but no major surprise perhaps given that this conflict has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people.

On arrival, Poroshenko said that without a de-escalation of the conflict and a ceasefire the situation would get “out of control”

Hopes for a breakthrough appear slim and would depend on Ukraine making most of the concessions, with advancing rebels unlikely to agree to halt and go back to previous positions.

Still, Moscow expressed optimism. A Russian diplomatic source said it was 70 percent likely that an agreement would be reached.