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Russian, Finnish presidents note importance of OSCE’s monitoring mission on Ukraine

April 23, 2015, 21:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto said on Thursday the monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Ukraine was important.

In a telephone talk held on the initiative of the Finnish side, "the parties exchanged opinions on the situation in Ukraine with the emphasis on the need to implement a set of measures adopted in Minsk on February 12 this year," the Kremlin press office said.

"In the context of Russian-Finnish cooperation in the bilateral and multilateral formats," the leaders of both countries "paid attention to such issues as the Russia-EU relations and partnership in the Arctic," the Kremlin press office said.

"The sides discussed the plans of bilateral contacts at various levels," the Kremlin press office said.

Minsk accords

The 16-hour marathon summit negotiations held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on February 12 between the Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel - ended in a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged a ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.

As a result of the meeting, it was announced that an agreement was reached on the ceasefire in certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the heavy weaponry pullout and measures on a long-term political settlement of the crisis.

The package of measures envisages the implementation of constitutional reform based on Ukraine’s decentralization, and also the adoption of permanent legislation on the special status of certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine’s embattled east as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, launched in mid-April 2014 to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

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