(QHA) -

Foreign Ministers of Germany, Ukraine, Russia, and France due to meet on January 21 in Berlin in a bid to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement that "the chief aim now is to prevent a further deterioration of the military conflict and a renewed political escalation between Kyiv and Moscow. This is worth every effort."

He will host his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Ukraine's Pavlo Klimkin, and Laurent Fabius of France. The group last met in Berlin on January 12.

Fighting intensified in recent days as Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatist fighters have been battling for control of Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military claims its troops have retaken almost all the areas of the ruined airport lost to separatists in recent weeks.

But a separatist leader, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, said that "all the Ukrainian Army's attempts to take the airport...have failed."

QHA