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EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini arrives for the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit of Heads of State and Government (ASEM11) in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, 15 July 2016. REUTERS/Wu Hong/Pool - RTSI0I2

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BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - The European Union's top diplomat said on Friday that a "back-to-school" ceasefire seemed to be holding in eastern Ukraine where Russia-backed fighters took up arms against Kiev troops in April, 2014, a conflict that has killed more than 9,500 people.

On Thursday, Paris and Berlin welcomed a new ceasefire there to coincide with the start of the school year, though the German and French leaders expressed deep concern about the situation there.

"We see in these hours in the east of Ukraine a ceasefire that is holding. We hope that this can constitute a good basis, not only before the restart of the school year but also for continuation of the situation in this respect," Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, said.

She spoke after meeting the EU's 28 foreign ministers, in part to prepare for a meeting of bloc's leaders who are supposed to discuss their strategy towards Russia at a summit in Brussels in October.

She said the ministers agreed the EU would look into supporting a planned police mission by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a watchdog monitoring the situation in east Ukraine, to help the stalled peace process there.

The so-called Minsk peace agreement, originally agreed between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in September, 2014, helped considerably reduce the fighting in east Ukraine's industrial region of Donbas.

But violations occur regularly and implementing further points of the plan, including holding regional elections in Donbass and returning control of Ukraine's border with Russia to Kiev, has long stalled.

The EU imposed sanctions on Russia after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March, 2014, and then stepped them up accusing Russia of driving the rebellion in Ukraine's industrialised east. Russia denies direct military involvement.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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