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Merkel welcomes direct contacts between Russia, Ukraine leaders

June 20, 2014, 8:58 UTC+3 BERLIN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is convinced that the so much needed deescalation in Ukraine’s south-east may only be achieved through joint efforts

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel


BERLIN, June 20. /ITAR-TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes direct contacts between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko, on the situation in eastern Ukraine’s embattled Luhansk and Donetsk regions, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Thursday.

Seibert’s statement came after phone talks that Merkel held with Poroshenko and French President Francois Hollande.

“Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel urged the Russian president to make all required efforts to render influence on armed groups and terminate the standoff as soon as possible,” the French presidential administration said in a communique.

“Otherwise, the international community may adopt new measures that will affect relations with Russia,” it said, adding that Paris and Berlin called on Moscow “to resume talks on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine”.

The chancellor said she is convinced that “the so much needed deescalation (in Ukraine’s south-east) may only be achieved through joint efforts,” according to Seibert. Merkel said Russia should “use its influence” on federalization supporters to push for termination of violence in the neighboring country’s troubled east.

Merkel and Poroshenko agreed that the Russian Federation needs to “effectively control the border with Ukraine,” Seibert said.

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