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MINSK, Belarus (AP) _ The talks expected to bring a much-anticipated cease-fire to the fighting in eastern Ukraine have started in the Belarusian capital.
Negotiators representing Ukraine, Russia, the pro-Russian rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe opened Friday in Minsk.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said earlier that he would sign a cease-fire if negotiators reach an agreement. The rebels say they are ready to declare a truce if an agreement can be reached on a political settlement for the mostly Russian-speaking region.
Ukraine’s former president, Leonid Kuchma, told reporters as he arrived for talks that he hopes the deal will be signed.