Nick Clegg welcomes Ukraine ceasefire agreement

Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko at the peace talks in Minsk, Belarus. Picture: AP

Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko at the peace talks in Minsk, Belarus. Picture: AP

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NICK CLEGG has welcomed a fresh ceasefire deal in Ukraine - but warned that the international community must not “lower our guard”.

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking after marathon peace talks in Minsk ended with Russian president Vladimir Putin announcing a ceasefire would take effect from midnight on Saturday.

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More than 5,000 people have died since April in fighting between Ukrainian forces and Moscow-backed rebels in two eastern provinces, and the bloodshed has risen sharply in recent weeks.

Mr Clegg praised the efforts of German chancellor Angela Merkel, who was involved in the negotiations with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.

“Any agreement, any statement from those leaders... that they are going to enter into a ceasefire is, of course, welcome,” the Liberal Democrat leader said on his regular LBC radio phone-in.

“All I would say is that we have been here before. It is incredibly important that we keep everyone’s feet to the fire, we don’t lower our guard.”

Referring to Mrs Merkel, he said: “I’m sure she would be the first to make sure that we are very vigilant to ensure that words are put into action.”

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