Ukraine, Russia hope for progress after peace talks

Ukraine, Russia hope for progress after peace talks
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, left, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, third left and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, attend a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday Dec. 9, 2019. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met for the first time Monday at a summit in Paris to try to end five years of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists. (Charles Platiau/Pool via AP)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Both Ukraine and Russia are hailing the outcome of peace talks in Paris even though they failed to solve the core issues blocking the resolution of the five-year separatist conflict in Ukraine’s east.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met for the first time Monday at the talks sponsored by France and Germany.

They agreed to ensure a lasting cease-fire in fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists that has killed more than 14,000 and devastated Ukraine’s industrial heartland. They also made a deal to exchange all their prisoners, but failed to resolve main differences — a timeline for local elections and control of the borders in the rebel-held region.

Russian and Ukrainian officials on Tuesday described the talks as a step toward peace and pledged to continue negotiations.