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MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have spoken out in favor of restoring the ceasefire in Ukraine at an early date in a phone conversation.
During today’s phone talk, the leaders of Russia and Germany "agreed to build up diplomatic efforts for the purpose of assisting the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis," the press office said.
"In particular, this envisages contacts in the immediate future between the foreign ministers and the aides of the Normandy format countries’ leaders and subsequently the continuation of the discussions at the highest level," the Kremlin press office said.
"The Russian president and German chancellor have spoken out in favor of speedy restoration of a ceasefire and supported in this context the efforts of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission," the Kremlin press service reported.
Both leaders discussed the situation in southeast Ukraine that had escalated dramatically in the past few days over the Ukrainian side’s provocative actions, the Kremlin press office said.
"Serious concern was expressed over the escalation of the armed standoff, as a result of which there are human victims and the civil infrastructure and the housing stock in some communities in the Donbass region have been damaged considerably," the Kremlin press office said.
As the Kremlin press office said in its statement, "Putin drew Merkel’s attention to the data of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, and also to pronouncements by Kiev’s representatives evidencing the attempts by the Ukrainian army to change the situation at the engagement line in its favor in a military way."
"What is clearly seen is the desire of the Ukrainian authorities to disrupt the implementation of the Minsk accords and also use the Normandy format to cover up its destructive steps," the Kremlin press office said.