Negotiators meeting in Minsk, Belarus, reached a tentative deal for a cease-fire in Ukraine on Tuesday night, setting the stage for a meeting of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France to sign the agreement Wednesday, according to media reports.

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MOSCOW — Negotiators meeting in Minsk, Belarus, reached a tentative deal for a cease-fire in Ukraine on Tuesday night, setting the stage for a meeting of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France to sign the agreement Wednesday, according to media reports.

The initial reports came from Tass, a Russian government-connected news service, and BelTa, a Belarusian news agency. However, in a report on its website, a Ukrainian weekly newspaper, Zerkalo Nedeli, disputed the report of a deal.

Citing its own unnamed source, the newspaper said Tass was trying to bolster the proposals put forward by the Russian-backed separatists who are battling the Ukrainian government.

Russia’s Interfax news agency also said reports of a deal were premature, as did representatives of the contact group working on an agreement, Reuters reported.

What was clear was that the meeting lasted roughly two hours. Participants were photographed leaving the reception house of the Belarus Foreign Ministry, where the negotiations were held, without making any public statements.

Earlier Tuesday, President Obama called President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine to urge both sides to reach a diplomatic solution.

In the call to the Russian president, Obama urged Putin to seize on the Minsk discussions as a way to bring the clashes in Ukraine to a peaceful end through a negotiated solution, according to White House officials. In a description of the call, officials said Obama warned Putin that refusing to back down would be costly for his country.

The preliminary talks Tuesday came after a rush of diplomatic activity late last week, as fighting flared up in eastern Ukraine.

The diplomacy included a surprise visit to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande, who met with Poroshenko in hopes of reviving a September truce agreement that never took hold.

Merkel and Hollande then traveled to Moscow on Friday where they met with Putin. The three leaders agreed to meet again in Minsk on Wednesday, but Putin said he would not make the trip unless a deal acceptable to all sides was worked out ahead of time.

The Ukrainian side had been insisting that any agreement adhere to the September accord. Putin and the separatist leaders were apparently seeking new lines based on recent advances by separatist forces.