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Destroyed tanks and armoured vehicles are seen on a road in the town of Uglegorsk, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2015. The Kremlin says the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France have spoken in support of a new attempt to secure a lasting cease-fire for eastern Ukraine.

Sergey Ponomarev/The Globe and Mail

The Kremlin says the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France have spoken in support of a new attempt to secure a lasting cease-fire for eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin says in a statement that Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Emmanuel Macron of France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in a conference call Tuesday and welcomed a plan to try to ensure a lasting cease-fire timed to the beginning of the new school year.

It says they also expressed support for the February 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine, which was brokered by France and Germany. The deal helped reduce the scale of hostilities in eastern Ukraine that erupted following Russia's annexation of Crimea, but frequent clashes have continued and a political settlement has stalled.

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