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German chancellor, US president call for truce in eastern Ukraine

July 03, 2014, 23:42 UTC+3 BERLIN

Angela Merkel and Barack Obama “stressed the importance of the soonest possible cessation of fire on both sides”

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BERLIN, July 03, 23:32 /ITAR-TASS/. In a phone conversation on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine and called for the soonest possible bilateral truce there, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Merkel and Obama “stressed the importance of the soonest possible cessation of fire on both sides,” Seibert said. He added that Russia should contribute to the peace efforts and that Moscow needs to influence “separatists” in the east of Ukraine to make them observe a prospective truce.

“The common goal is to stabilize the situation, which will make it possible for Ukraine to decide which path to take by democratic means,” the spokesman said.

Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's embattled southeastern regions bordering Russia, conducted since mid-April, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, has killed hundreds of people, destroyed buildings and forced tens of thousands to flee Ukraine to Russia.

Fierce military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s Southeast resumed after President Pyotr Poroshenko, who had won the May 25 early election and taken office on June 7, terminated the 10-day ceasefire in the Southeast on June 30. When the truce was in place, there were reports that it was repeatedly violated by Kiev.

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