MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Issues of the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis were in focus of a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky. Both presidents hailed the additional measures to control the ceasefire in Donbass that were agreed by the Contact Group, the Kremlin press service said on Sunday.
"The two presidents discussed in detail various aspects of the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. The sides agreed that it is necessary to raise the efficiency of the negotiating efforts within the Minsk Contact Group. The presidents gave a positive assessment of the additional measures to control the ceasefire that were agreed by the Contact Group on July 22 and are to come into effect on July 27. They stressed the importance of unconditional observance of these agreements by the parties to the conflict," the press service said.
The Russian sides stressed that it is a top priority to implement the resolutions taken by the leaders of the Normandy Four nations, including during their summit in Paris in December 2019.
The telephone call was initiated by the Ukrainian side.
Donbass’ special status
The law on Donbass’ special status and issues of demining in the region, disengagement of forces and opening new checkpoints on the contact line were among the topics discussed by Ukrainian and Russian Presidents.
"The sides discussed the law on special procedure of local self-government in certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that is being considered by the political subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group, and the law on decentralization envisaging amendments to the Ukrainian constitution," it said.
"The Ukrainian president specially stressed the necessity of further practical steps in what concerns the release of Ukrainian nationals held in Donbass and Crimea, and in Russia," it said, adding that the two presidents also pointed to the necessity to implement the agreements reached by the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine) leaders in Paris on December 9, 2019.
The Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine, which held a videoconference meeting earlier this week, agreed additional measures to control the ceasefire along the contact line in Donbass that will come in force from July 27. The agreement came a year after the so-called indefinite ceasefire was declared by the parties on July 21, 2019 following more than 20 futile attempts to stop hostilities. Like all the previous ones, that ceasefire did not stay long and the parties were forced to look for additional mechanisms to ensure lasting lull.