MOSCOW, May 24 (UPI) -- A full implementation of the Minsk Protocol in Ukraine is needed, leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France said in a conference call Tuesday.
The Minsk Protocol, signed in September of 2014, established a cease-fire and a buffer zone in eastern Ukraine between government troops and Russian rebels. Although it reduced tensions, it failed to stop the conflict.
The conference call came a day after Ukraine announced that a soldier was killed and three others injured in fighting Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The four heads of state -- Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, known collectively in Europe as the "Normandy Four" for a 2014 summit meeting there -- affirmed the Minsk Protocol in the call, France announced in a statement.
They confirmed the need for a strict observance of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine and the assignment of greater powers granted to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's monitoring mission in the area, the Kremlin said.