Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed concern with intensive shellings of Donbass by Ukrainian forces in telephone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, the Kremlin press service said on July 13.
"The Russian president noted that there are no alternative to political and diplomatic settlement of the intra-Ukrainian conflict in accordance with provisions outlined in the Minsk package of measures. The common approach was confirmed to step up negotiations efforts on the Ukrainian issues, first of all in the ‘Normandy format’ (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) and in the framework of the Contact Group," the Kremlin said. The sides stressed the importance of complete and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk Agreements and of preventing the situation from deteriorating.
The leaders also exchanged their opinions on the results of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. "They expressed mutual interest in constructive dialogue and taking concrete measures aimed at strengthening trust between Russia and the Alliance," the press service added.
The Minsk Agreements were signed on February 12, 2015, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. The package of measures envisages ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.
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