Germany calls for peace process to be relaunched in eastern Ukraine

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By Louise Miner  & Nataliia Liubchenkova  with Associated Press
Germany calls for peace process to be relaunched in eastern Ukraine

Germany's foreign affairs minister has called for the peace process to be relaunched in eastern Ukraine,

Heiko Maas was in Kyiv with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to meet new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelensky was sworn-in just over a week ago and he is still a political wildcard, having never held public office before.

"We will continue to try and make peace possible in this country, in the east," said Maas. "After this meeting, I am certain: it is possible. For the president, peace is the absolute priority."

Around 13,000 people have been killed, a quarter of them civilians, in five years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists. The Minsk agreement in 2015 helped to de-escalate the conflict but peace has never been achieved.

"People who live in the conflict zone right now are still under shelling quite often," said Euronews correspondent Nataliia Liubchenkova. 

"They still lose their lives and they still live in constant danger. 

"Obviously everyone is tired and everyone is looking for these solutions to be brought to the table."

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of France and Germany called on Moscow to release 24 Ukrainian sailors who have been detained since a military skirmish in the Kerch Strait.

Watch the full interview with Euronews' correspondent Nataliia Liubchenkova by clicking on the player above.