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Putin, Merkel, Hollande agree to meet on sidelines of G20 summit in China — Kremlin

August 23, 15:18 UTC+3
The three leaders will discuss Ukraine's settlement process on September 4-5
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande, February 6, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande, February 6, 2015

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China to discuss Ukraine. The Kremlin’s press-service says they agreed to hold such a meeting in a telephone conversation earlier on Tuesday.

"The three leaders agreed to maintain personal contacts over Ukraine, in particular, to hold a joint meeting on the sidelines of the September 4-5 summit of the Group of 20 in China," the news release says.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in early August said Ukraine had proposed a meeting of the Normandy Quartet leaders at the G20 summit in China. Lavrov added that Russia would support that initiative on the condition Germany and France agreed and if China, the host country, provided a site for the negotiations.

The leaders discussed the prospects of the Minsk process, based on the synchronization of the political steps and security measures.

The sides discussed "issues of Ukraine’s internal crisis, including prospects for the continuation of the Minsk process, based on the synchronization of the political steps and measures in the sphere of security," the Kremlin said. The Russian president, German chancellor and French president emphasized "the importance of the provision of a permanent legislative framework for the special status of Donbass, the constitutional reform and amnesty, the organization of local elections." All these questions "should be coordinated in the Contact Group (on the Ukrainian crisis resolution) where Kiev has the possibility to conduct a direct dialogue with the (self-proclaimed republics) of Donetsk and Lugansk".

During the conversation the leaders also "expressed concern over the persisting instability along the conflict sides’ contact line and systematic violations of the ceasefire regime." "They pointed to the need of strict compliance with the agreements on a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons under control of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to Ukraine, as well as taking measure for further de-escalation, including disengagement of the forces and creation of demilitarized zones," the Kremlin said.

According to the statement, in a telephone conversation, Putin drew attention to the recent alleged attempt by Kiev to carry out a subversive act in Crimea, marking the damage from such actions for the settlement process.

"Vladimir Putin drew attention of his partners to a rude provocation by the Ukrainian side, which sent to the territory of the Russian Federation early in August a team of saboteurs for committing terrorist attacks," the Kremlin press service said. "Kiev’s tend to such kind of military actions damages the Minsk process and cooperation within the Normandy format," it added.

On August 10 Russia’s federal security service FSB said it had detained a group of saboteurs in Crimea and prevented a series of terrorist attacks plotted by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s intelligence department. Putin said shortly afterwards that it would make senseless to have a Normandy format summit in a situation like this.

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