MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed concerns over the escalation of tensions in Donbass, the Kremlin press service announced Thursday.
"During the exchange of opinions on settlement of the intra-Ukrainian crisis, the Russian president and the German chancellor expressed their concerns over the escalation of tensions in Ukraine’s southeast. Vladimir Putin drew attention to provocative actions of Kiev, who has been intentionally escalating the situation at the contact line," the statement says.
During the conversation, the sides underscored the necessity of Kiev’s strict compliance with previously achieved agreements - first of all, on establishing direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk on legalizing Donbass’ special status.
"[Putin and Merkel] urged the conflict sides to exercise restraint and intensify the negotiations process in order to fully implement the 2015 Minsk Complex of Measures as the only possible settlement basis," the Kremlin noted.
Putin and Merkel confirmed their intention for further close cooperation of Russia and Germany, including in the Normandy Four format, at the political counsellors level and at the level of Ministries of Foreign Affairs.