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Putin, Merkel discuss ceasefire in Ukraine, emphasize need to extend truce — Kremlin

June 26, 2014, 14:17 UTC+3 ENT -- Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the growing number of refugees from Ukraine on the territory of Russia
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin (archive)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, June 26. /ITAR-TASS/.Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed the situation in Ukraine in a telephone conversation, the press service of Kremlin reported. The discussion took place on the initiative of the German side.

“The leaders continued exchanging opinions in the context of international efforts to help resolve the crisis in Ukraine. In particular, (Putin and Merkel) touched upon the issue of the conflicting sides’ compliance with the ceasefire agreement, the need to extend the ceasefire, ensure regular work of the contact group and free those who were detained,” the press service noted.

“Putin stressed the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the growing number of refugees from Ukraine on the territory of Russia,” the Kremlin said.

According to Russia’s Federal Migration Service, over 9,600 Ukrainian citizens have claimed refugee status or have been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

All in all, over 95,000 Ukrainian citizens have asked for the refugee status, including for temporary shelter, permanent residence permit and temporary residence permit. About 500,000 Ukrainian citizens are currently staying in border territories. Russia has set up 271 temporary accommodation centers.

On Wednesday, June 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the government should help Russian regions in accommodating refugees who come to Russia from conflict zones in Ukraine.

“I would like you to think how we can help the people stranded in conflict zones who are entering our territory. It is clear that the number of refugees is so great that it is becoming hard for Russian regions to cope with the influx,” Putin said.

“I am asking the government to think of how to help the Russian regions. I know that the prime minister has taken this decision,” he said.

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