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Pope Francis Repeats Call for Peace in Ukraine

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Pope Francis on Sunday repeated his call for a peace process and a response to the humanitarian emergency in southeastern Ukraine, where the rebelled population is harassed by military actions.

On his Angelus prayers at Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father called again for compliance with the agreements signed by Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany in Minsk on February 12.

The 13-item deal included a ceasefire, the withdrawal of troops and heavy artillery from the front line, an exchange of prisoners and the discussion of the status of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, among other elements.

The Pope pointed out that he was following up with concern the deterioration of the situation in southeastern Ukraine, in particular over the past few weeks, Vatican Radio reported.

Russia and the self defence groups in Donetsk and Lugansk denounced the Ukrainian army’s violation of the ceasefire agreed upon in Minsk and accused Kiev of preparing a great offensive against the insurgents in the coal-rich region of Donbass.

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