European and US leaders are pushing for a new peace deal in eastern Ukraine, as fighting escalates between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists.
French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and US Secretary of State John Kerry are in Kiev looking to find a diplomatic end to the fighting in eastern Ukraine
Speaking at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Kerry said it was a “critical moment for this region, for this country, for the prospects of peace”
However, Kerry went on to say that the US would not ignore continued Russian aggression in the region, and Russian tanks crossing the border into Ukrainian territory.
This week, President Barack Obama has come under increasing pressure to provide arms to Ukraine after a think tank report urged a change in US policy in the region.
Clashes between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels has killed more than 5,000 people since last April with a ceasefire agreed last September in tatters.
Russia denies arming the rebels or sending Russian troops in eastern Ukraine, but regular convoys of military equipment and tanks crossing the border and social media accounts of Russian soldiers have contradicted the official statements.