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Normandy Four leaders discuss settlement of crisis in southeast Ukraine

September 10, 2015, 2:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed by phone with French and Ukrainian presidents Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issues of settling the crisis in southeast Ukraine, the Russian presidential press service said.

The conversation "substantially discussed issues of settling the crisis situation in southeast Ukraine with account for the results of meetings held on September 8 this year in Minsk of the Contact Group and its working subgroups and confirmed the importance of strict compliance with the Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015."

The leaders "hailed the recent maintenance of the ceasefire regime in the southeast of Ukraine." They noted that "tasks of further de-escalation of the situation and creation of pre-requisites for economic restoration of the affected districts of Donbass would go well on condition of withdrawal along the entire disengagement line of armored vehicles, mortars with calibers less than 120 millimeters and artillery up to 100 millimeters."

"They expressed the hope that coordination and formalization of a relevant agreement will be completed soon," the Kremlin press service said.

"Special attention was paid to implementation of the political provisions of the Minsk Agreements, first of all the holding in Ukraine of a constitutional reform, including legislative formalization of the special status of Donbass regions, as well as organization of local elections and adoption of the law on amnesty," the press service said.

"In this connection, Vladimir Putin once again stressed the necessity to arrange full-fledged direct dialogue between the Kiev authorities and representatives of the southeast as soon as possible," the statement said.

It was agreed that active work in the Normandy format, including the holding on September 12 in Berlin of talks at the level of foreign ministers, as well as a personal meeting between the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine on October 2 in Paris, will be continued.

Massive shelling of residential neighborhoods, including with the use of aviation, has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian disaster in Donbass.

Kiev has regularly violated the ceasefire regime imposed as part of the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk Agreements.

The Package [Minsk-2] was signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarusian capital Minsk by participants of the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass.

The Package, earlier agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) envisioned an overwhelming cessation of fire and withdrawal of heavy armaments to create a security area in the region at least 50 kilometers wide.

At a meeting of the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass in Minsk on August 26, its participants confirmed their plans to ensure ceasefire in Donbass by September 1. OSCE Special Representative in Ukraine Martin Sajdik said that it is necessary to achieve stable ceasefire by the start of the new academic year.

The latest truce has been generally observed.

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