France to help monitor Ukraine-Russia border

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Ukrainian border guards stand guard at their unit near the border with Russia, not far from the village of Alexeyevskoye, some 100 km from the eastern city of Donetsk, on April 18, 2014. Ukraine's embarrassed armed forces on Friday said it had recovered two armoured personnel carriers that were seized earlier in the week by pro-Russian rebels when a military offensive turned to humiliation. "As part of a special operation, commandos recovered two of the captured APCs from the extremists," Kiev's defence ministry said in a statement. The troop carriers were part of a convoy of six vehicles that were taken by separatists Wednesday as an "anti-terrorist" operation to confront the rebels in the restive east but which backfired spectacularly. AFP PHOTO/ ANATOLII STEPANOVParis:  French President Francois Hollande has said that his country is ready to help monitor Ukraine-Russia border in an effort to stop weapons transfer.

During a phone conversation Thursday with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, Hollande “confirmed that France would support the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to control the border between Ukraine and Russia”, Xinhua reported.

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Hollande also stressed the importance of continuing the national dialogue to lay out terms of local organization in the Donetsk and Luhansk and promote the economic recovery of Donbass.

Urging both rivals to respect the ceasefire agreement, Hollande said that he is ready to broker a new meeting between Ukrainian and Russian leaders with the help of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to boost a peace plan.

Also Thrusday, the European Union (EU) agreed new sanctions on Moscow, including the ban of Russian state-owned firms to raise capital or borrow on European markets, which took effect Friday, in response to the current situation in Ukraine.

The EU said that these sanctions could be amended, suspended or repealed.