December 22, 2017 / 8:23 PM / 3 months ago

Ukraine's Poroshenko vows to work for quick exchange of prisoners - Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday that he would work to implement a rapid exchange of prisoners held on both sides of the line of conflict in eastern Ukraine, a spokesman for Merkel said on Friday.

Merkel spoke by telephone with Poroshenko on Friday, a day after she spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the spokesman said.

Merkel and Poroshenko welcomed a decision by the parties to recommit to a ceasefire agreement signed in 2015 ahead of the Christmas holiday, and both agreed it should lead to a longer-term improvement of the security situation in the region.

A Russia-backed separatist insurgency erupted in 2014 and the bloodshed has continued despite the ceasefire. More than 10,000 people have been killed, with casualties reported on a near-daily basis.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal

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