Putin discusses Ukraine's crisis with Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko on phone

Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the Donbas ceasefire with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on the phone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the Donbas ceasefire with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on the phone.

"The discussion of the crisis in Ukraine continued. The need to maintain a lasting ceasefire in Donbas was emphasized in the context of international efforts to assist in the peaceful settlement of the domestic conflict in Ukraine," the Kremlin press service said.

"[The sides] noted the importance of the soonest meeting of the Contact Group for the sake of the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the launch of Kiev's dialogue with the southeast. The exchange of captives and the pullback of heavy weapons of the conflicting sides from the line of contact were mentioned amongst priority tasks," the report said.

In addition, the sides conferred on economic reconstructions in the conflict-stricken regions and humanitarian and social support to the civilian population.

"It was agreed to continue telephone contacts in the "Normandy format" in the near future," the Kremlin underlined.

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