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MOSCOW, August 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a phone call on Wednesday discussed the Ukraine crisis, the Kremlin press service said.
Putin said the continuing military operation of Ukrainian government forces in southeastern Ukraine led to a growing number of casualties and severe humanitarian problems. Responsibility for what is happening in the southeast of Ukraine lies with the Kiev leadership, he said.
The Russian president noted the importance of establishing a real political dialogue between Kiev's authorities and representatives of the protest regions.
The two leaders positively appraised the resumption of work of the contact group and activities of the OSCE mission of observers at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Merkel also noted the primary goal was stabilization in Ukraine, which itself must determine its future. The chancellor urged Russia to influence the militia (forces of defenders in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions) to achieve an armistice in Ukraine, a German government official said.
The Russian president noted the importance of establishing a real political dialogue between Kiev's authorities and leaders of the protest regions.
The two leaders positively appraised the resumption of work of the contact group and activities of the mission of OSCE observers recently deployed at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border.