REUTERS

"I hope that the ceasefire will take place and will be respected," he said.

According to Schultz, if the military actions in the Donbas are discontinued, it will be a huge step forward.

"We’ll see what happens after that. But it should be the first step," he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 12, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande held talks in Minsk to resolve the conflict in the Donbas.

Following the talks, the parties approved a package of measures aimed at the implementation of the Minsk agreements of September. In addition, the leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany and the Russian Federation adopted a declaration in support of these measures.

In addition to other provisions of the new agreements reached by the "Normandy Four" leaders on Thursday, the parties agreed on a ceasefire to be effective from 0000, February 15, as well as the withdrawal of all heavy weapons. The agreements also provide for the release and exchange of all prisoners.