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German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a media conference at the conclusion of an European Union summit in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018.

Their remarks came a day after representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) announced that a fresh ceasefire would start this morning.

READ: Crimea crisis: What is happening between Ukraine and Russian Federation?

The upcoming holidays should be "the occasion for the sides to focus on the needs of the civilian population", it said in a joint statement from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

"The guarantee of a safe and secure environment should enable the implementation of crucial humanitarian measures".

Bomb kills three Vietnamese tourists, guide near Egypt pyramids
Two German tourists were stabbed to death at a hotel in the popular Red Sea resort of Hurghada previous year . A bomb hidden beside a wall went off as the bus carrying 14 Vietnamese tourists was passing.

Russian Federation began inspecting vessels heading to and from Ukraine after it completed a bridge this year linking its mainland to the annexed Crimean Peninsula across the Kerch Strait, which separates the Azov from the Black Sea. The duo also called for establishing a secure area to allow for delivery of aid, saying that civilians had "already suffered much too long from the conflict and its consequences".

"I can responsibly declare that each family received UAH 100,000", Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs Vadym Chernysh stated, noting that his ministry is constantly in contact with global humanitarian organizations and lawyers of the Ukrainian sailors.

Macron and Merkel on Friday said these "excessive inspections" were a source of "deep concern".

Ukraine has responded by introducing martial law for 30 days in several parts of the country (districts mostly on its border with Russia) following Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian navy vessels off the coast of Russian-annexed Crimea on Sunday.


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