BRUSSELS, March 18. /TASS/. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks on Thursday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during which reminded him of the need to implement the provisions of the Minsk agreements, Hollande said on Friday, summing up the first day of the EU summit in Brussels.
According to Hollande, the EU member states discussed the situation in Ukraine and the obstacles that hinder the implementation of the Minsk agreements. They emphasized that the provisions of the agreements regarding the ceasefire, exchange of prisoners must be observed, as well as efforts must be taken with the aim to hold elections in the east of Ukraine.
At the meeting of the Contact Group on the Ukrainian crisis settlement on January 13, the sides supported the initiative of Russia’s envoy Boris Gryzlov on ensuring complete ceasefire on the territory of Donbass. This is the seventh attempt to fully observe the ceasefire regime in Ukraine’s south-east. At the recent meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk the participants expressed regret over continuing violations of ceasefire regime in Donbass.
Ceasefire is envisaged by the Minsk accords signed on 12 February 2015, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The package of measures also envisages weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.