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Kremlin comments on Putin-Merkel talks

May 02, 19:34 UTC+3

Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that the Minsk agreements are faltering

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

SOCHI, May 2. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that the Minsk agreements are faltering and need to be given a fresh impetus, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday after the talks between the two leaders.

"Much attention was focused on the Ukrainian settlement. The leaders agreed that the implementation of the Minsk agreements is faltering," he said. "On general, it can be said that they shared the opinion that a fresh impetus to the process is needed because it is faltering, and the reason, to a larger extent, is probably Kiev’s inability to implement its liabilities."

 Neither Russia nor Germany has clear understanding how to push Kiev to implement the Minsk agreements, he added. 

"There is no clear understanding, and, naturally, Vladimir Putin called on the chancellor to use her relations with the Ukrainian president and her influence on the Ukrainian president to push him towards more responsible implementation of the Ukrainian side’s liabilities," Peskov said.

"Mrs. Merkel took vivid interest in how Putin viewed, for instance, the causes of the economic situation in Donbass," Peskov said. "And Putin provided a detailed review of the essense of thsi economic blockade, the cuases, and Ukraine's future if the blockade continues."

"Madam Federal Chancellor listened to him with much interest and actually had few arguments to retort with," he said.

US’ possible joining Normandy format 

The issue of the United States’ possible joining the Normandy format was not raised at the meeting, he said. 

"No," he said when asked a corresponding question.

According to the Kremlin spokesman, Normandy-format contacts are currently maintained bilaterally as long as French president is not elected. "Naturally, there will be a kind of a pause in terms of Normandy format contacts as currently there is no possibility to convene or initiate meetings swiftly because it is obvious first France is to elect its president and then it will hold parliamentary elections and form a team," he explained.

However, in his words, Putin and Merkel agreed that attention to the Normandy format will be continue to be paid at the expert level.

Human rights in Chechnya

Merkel showed interest in human rights in Chechnya, Putin promptly informed her.

"The president told his guest about the situation in Chechnya, about everyday life of the republic," Peskov said.

Situation in Syria

The subject of possible establishment of security zones in Syria was not discussed in detail, Peskov added. 

"The subject was mentioned but was not discussed in detail," he said.

"The two sides have held quite a detailed exchange of opinions on the most important international problems," he said, adding: "Among the issues were recent developments in Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan."

Russia-Germany relations

The Russian-German relations demonstrate a tendency towards development in a number of sectors, for instance, in trade, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday after talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Generally speaking, relations are not merely smoldering. Despite the existing gaps, as the chancellor has repeatedly underscored, they continue in a rather big volume and in some sector even demonstrate upwards tendencies," Peskov said. "In terms of trade, a jump of 40% has been reported since January."

Anti-Russian sanctions

The topic of the anti-Russian sanctions was not the subject of the talks.

"The subject of sanctions was not discussed. The president typically avoids discussing the sanctions," Peskov said. "The sanctions were mentioned, for instance, that their existence adds problems to the bilateral relations. As for Merkel’s part, they were discussed but sanctions as such were not the subject of conversation."

Peskov noted that Germany is sticking to its traditional position of making the sanctions dependent on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. "Such position meets our non-acceptance, also typically, because Russia is not a party to that conflict," he said. "Even taking a glimpse at the Minsk agreements, it becomes clear who and what must do. Russia in this case is a guarantor country."

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