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Kiev should implement Minsk Accords in full — President Putin

March 15, 4:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Ukraine with Barack Obama
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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a conversation with his US counterpart Barack Obama that Kiev authorities should implement Minsk Accords on the Ukrainian conflict settlement in full, the Kremlin said in its statement.

"Discussing the situation in Ukraine, the Russian president stressed that it was necessary for the Ukrainian authorities to implement all of its obligations undertaken under the Minsk Accords," the statement said.

"Both leaders confirmed their intention to continue work with conflicting parties in the interests of the conflict settlement," the statement added.

Two weeks ago the French capital of Paris hosted the talks of the Normandy Four group (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine), set up to settle the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, at the level of foreign ministers.

The ministers failed to agree on a timeframe for the elections in Ukraine’s southeastern region of Donbass. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his Ukrainian counterpart Pavel Klimkin opposed a proposal on setting election date for June. As a result, no action plan on the implementation of the political agenda was agreed upon.

The sides, however, managed to reach an agreement and set specific tasks for the Contact Group. The Normandy Four urged the parties to create by April 30 a mechanism for prevention of ceasefire violations in Donbass.

Proposals on ensuring security measures at elections in the southeastern Ukrainian region should be submitted to the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) by March 31.

Another agreement concerns the release of prisoners of war. The Normandy Four called on the conflicting sides in Donbass to hold the exchange of prisoners by April 30, 2016. This effort must take place under international control. The access of international observers to all prisoners should be simultaneously ensured.

The Minsk accords 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 Minsk accords envisage 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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