German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said Ukraine crisis talks in Berlin were "difficult" but made "some progress."

Steinmeier spoke early on August 18 after a five-hour meeting with his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine, and France -- Sergei Lavrov, Pavlo Klimkin, and Laurent Fabius.

“I think and I hope that we have made some progress on certain points," Steinmeier said.

AFP news agency quoted a French diplomatic source as saying, "Despite the difficult climate, we have registered some progress."

Steinmeier said the ministers will report back to their respective heads of government and “possibly” decide on August 18-19 how to continue the talks.

He said the ministers focused on how to bring about a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are battling pro-Russian separatists, and how to improve border controls along the Russian-Ukrainian border.