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Ukrainian president makes first trip to line of contact in East Ukraine

Zelensky said in his inauguration speech that he considered achieving peace in Donbass to be his top priority

KIEV, May 28. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Monday visited the line of contact, separating the self-proclaimed eastern Ukrainian republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) from the rest of the country, the presidential press service said on Monday.

The Ukrainian leader visited the front lines of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Lugansk region.

"The head of state talked with servicemen about their living conditions, food, asked if they had been provided with sufficient equipment, lodging and social benefits and how well the military units were staffed," the statement reads.

According to the document, Zelensky noted that the welfare of enlisted men should be improved and they should be allowed to do their service "in normal conditions."

During the visit, the commander of the military operation in Donbass, Alexander Syrsky, delivered a report to the president.

Zelensky, who took office on May 20, said in his inauguration speech that he considered achieving peace in Donbass to be his top priority and was ready to make "every possible effort" to that end.

Meanwhile, the deputy head of the presidential administration, Vadim Pristayko, met with a senior German diplomat and an advisor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss, among other things, the issue of giving a new start to the Ukrainian reconciliation talks in Minsk.

"We discussed re-starting the Minsk [process] and issues of bilateral cooperation," the Ukrinform news agency quoted Pristayko as saying. "Kiev has declared its readiness to resume work within the Minsk process."

When asked about the possibility of holding a summit in the Normandy format, comprising Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, the Ukrainian official said it would only be possible after some practical results are achieved. Consultations at various diplomatic levels should be held first to lay a basis for negotiations at the supreme level, he added.