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Putin and Macron positively assess results of Normandy Four summit — Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron held a telephone conversation on Tuesday

MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron have held a telephone conversation in which they positively assessed the agreements reached at the Normandy Four summit in Paris, the Kremlin press service said on Tuesday.

"Vladimir Putin has expressed gratitude to Emmanuel Macron for good organization of the Normandy Four summit in Paris on December 9. The leaders positively assessed the reached agreements which are in line with the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures," the Kremlin said.

The Russian president stressed "the importance of consistent implementation of the agreed steps, including a permanent law on Donbass special status, ensuring the ceasefire regime and prisoner exchange," the Kremlin added.

Putin and Macron also touched upon the issue of the transit of Russian gas to EU countries via Ukraine.

The Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany) summit was held in Paris on December 9. One of the main results of the summit was the agreement to complete prisoner exchange in Donbass on the 'all for all' basis until the end of 2019. The participants in the summit also agreed to facilitate full and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbass by the end of 2019.

Situation in northern Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin also informed his French counterpart Emmanueal Macron about the implementation of the Russian-Turkish agreements on the situation in northeastern Syria and Idlib.

"Vladimir Putin informed the French leader about the course of implementation on the Russian-Turkish agreements on Syria’s northeast and Idlib. Both sides stressed the importance of a resolute fight against terrorism and close coordination of efforts on this track. The leaders also emphasized the importance of efforts to promote intra-Syrian political dialogue," the Kremlin said.

The president earlier agreed that the Russian and French defense ministries would coordinate their efforts to counter terrorism in that region.

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Sochi to agree on a ten-provision memorandum on joint operations to control the situation in northeastern Syria. Under the arrangement, Russian military police and Syrian border guards were deployed to Syrian territories adjacent to the zone of Turkey’s Peace Spring operation from October 23. They are tasked with facilitating the withdrawal of Kurdish units to a distance of 30 kilometers of the Syrian-Turkish border. The first joint patrol mission was conducted east of the Euphrates on November 1 (near Qamishli).

Crisis in Libya

Putin and Macron have also noted the importance of resolving the crisis in Libya through diplomacy. "When exchanging opinions on Libya, the presidents noted the importance of resolving the crisis through political-diplomatic means. In this regard, Russia and France confirmed their support for mediating efforts by the UN and Germany on peaceful settlement," the Kremlin said.

Currently, Libya has two supreme executive authorities, namely the internationally-recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and the interim government of Abdullah al-Thani, seated in the east of the country, along with the elected parliament, which is supported by the Libyan National Army. In early April, Field Marshal of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar announced the launch of an offensive against Tripoli. Sarraj ordered all military units loyal to him to gear up to defend the capital. The armed confrontation has resulted in hundreds of casualties and destruction of vital infrastructure facilities. Thousands had to flee their homes. On December 12, Haftar announced the launch of a win-the-war offensive against Tripoli.