France and Germany to Jointly Monitor Ukrainian Cease-Fire

In the coming days France expects to launch a joint operation with Germany aimed at monitoring a cease-fire between the Ukrainian army and separatists in the east of the country, the French defense minister declared.

Last month, France and Germany offered to deploy drones as part of efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reinforce monitoring of the cease-fire in Ukraine, and a German government source informed that Berlin was considering deploying soldiers.

The delivery of the first of two French helicopter carriers sold to Russia would depend on the situation in Ukraine in the coming weeks.

France has been under pressure from allies to back out of the deal, which is seen as strengthening Russia militarily at a time when it is accused by the West of supporting the rebels in eastern Ukraine. The first of the two Mistral ships is due to be delivered at the beginning of next month.

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