Russian skier wins gold in skiathlon at 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski ChampionshipsSport February 25, 17:46
Top US Air Force general points to growing conflict potential in Syrian airspaceWorld February 25, 17:17
Iran relies on Russia’s support in production of fuel for nuclear power plantsBusiness & Economy February 25, 16:20
Ukrainian military capture Donetsk water purification plant — spokesmanWorld February 25, 15:05
Azerbaijan and Armenia report armed clashes in Karabakh conflict areaWorld February 25, 11:45
Head of Russian delegation to OSCE PA says Ukraine not ready for dialogueRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 25, 5:02
Russian baritone Hvorostovsky cancels concerts due to continuing treatmentSociety & Culture February 25, 3:22
Russian prime minister declares 3rd Winter World Military Games openMilitary & Defense February 24, 22:33
Russia to veto UNSC resolution imposing sanctions on Syria — envoyRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 24, 22:29
MOSCOW, August 29. /TASS/. Russian president Vladimir Putin during a telephone conversation with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande has discussed the crisis situation in southeastern Ukraine and the progress in the implementation of the minsk agreements, taking into account the meetings of the contact group and its working subgroups that took place in Minsk on August 26 and 27, the Kremlin press service said on Saturday.
"Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande informed [Putin] about the results of their recent meeting with the president of Ukraine in Berlin. Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the continuing artillery bombardments of populated localities in Donbass by the Ukrainian military, the build-up of the Ukrainian Armed Forces along the line of demarcation," the press service said. "The three leaders emphasized the need to establish a direct dialogue between Kiev and representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk and of lifting the financial and economic blockade of Donbass," the report says.
Three leaders discussed further steps in the so-called Normandy format, including talks between foreign ministers and preparations for a new summit conference, the Kremlin press service said.
"In the course of the conversation the interlocutors had a detailed exchange of opinion on the issues related to the local elections, which the Ukrainian authorities have scheduled for this autumn," the press release said. "Also, they discussed the main aspects of further work in the framework of the Normandy format".
The situation in Ukraine and the implementation of the Minsk agreements topped the agenda of the talks, the German government said.
"The parties reaffirmed their readiness to seek the implementation of the Minsk agreements within the framework of the Normandy format together with Ukrainian President [Pyotr Poroshenko]," spokesman for the German government Steffen Seibert noted.
"They were unanimous in the opinion that the Minsk agreements remained the basis for improving the situation in Donbass," the statement said.
In addition, Putin, Hollande and Merkel "expressed their support for the vigorous efforts of the trilateral contract group" aimed at achieving a full-fledged ceasefire, Seibert noted, adding that the parties to the conversation pointed to the need to ensure the security of OSCE representatives.
Hollande and Merkel added that, if the local elections in the country were not held in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation, that would "pose a threat to the Minsk process.".
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel support the demand for a full ceasefire in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine as of September 1, the two European leaders said on Saturday in a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Elysee Palace reported.
"They decisively supported the call for a complete ceasefire beginning with September 1 due to the resumption of classes in schools," a statement of the French president’s office said.
The French and German leaders noted that "the long-term observance of the ceasefire was a necessity" for alleviating the plight of civilians in the conflict zone. "To the same extent, this is an obligation envisaged by the Minsk agreements," the Elysee Palace said.