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Ukrainian, Russian Presidents Hold Telephone Talks, Along with French, German Leaders

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko demanded that Russia stop sending weapons to rebels as Poroshenko and the leaders of France, Germany, and Russia discussed a fraying plan to end the 3-year conflict.

The July 24 telephone conversation among the four leaders lasted around two hours, and was the first for Emmanuel Macron since his election as French president.

The February 2015 peace plan known as the Minsk accords has failed to stop fighting in eastern Ukraine, which has killed more than 10,000 people since erupting in April 2014.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin "presented in great detail Russia's approach on all key points of the…agreement."

Poroshenko’s office said in a statement that Macron criticized last week's announcement by a rebel leader who said he wanted to establish a new state in Ukraine called Malorossiya, or Little Russia.

Fighting between government forces and rebel fighters has ebbed and flowed over the years, and last week saw some of the deadliest clashes in months. Ukrainian officials said at least eight soldiers were killed.

The talks came as the newly appointed U.S. envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, traveled to Kyiv in an effort to revitalize the Minsk deal.