Russia, Ukraine to Talk Wednesday About Reviving Ceasefire

(NEW YORK) — With the crisis in his country deepening, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is gearing up for a meeting Wednesday with Russia President Vladimir Putin to try and work out a solution to end ten months of violence.

The talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk will also involve German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

A spokesman for Merkel said the leaders hope to revive a ceasefire deal from last September that actually did very little to quell tensions in eastern Ukraine where Russian-backed rebels have attempted to break free from Kiev’s rule.

Within the last week or so, fighting between the two sides has intensified as separatists have launched efforts to grab more territory.

The death toll since last April has now exceeded 5,300 as President Obama mulls providing Ukraine with lethal arms.

Merkel, meanwhile, is in Washington Monday for talks with the president. She opposes sending weapons to Kiev, arguing that escalating the conflict won’t force Putin to back down.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.