Merkel Urges Putin to Bring Peace to Donbas
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a telephone conference with President Vladimir Putin, as reported on the website of the Government of Germany. “The conversation mostly focused on the status of the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Merkel had also discussed this topic the previous day with Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, in Berlin,” the statement continued.
Merkel made it clear to Putin that the Russian government must observe the ceasefire on Ukraine’s eastern border. The government must also provide unlimited access to observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to all parts of the conflict zone, including the state border of Ukraine. “To do this, Russia must use its influence on separatists,” the message stated.
According to the report, the Chancellor also stressed the need to quickly draft a law on local elections in the Donbas region.
“The settlement of the crisis in Ukraine was extensively discussed. The mutual interest in a sustainable ceasefire on the contact line of the countries was also expressed. In general, the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements as of the 12th of February was emphasized by the German Chancellor,” the Press Service of the Kremlin reported.
During the telephone conference, specific issues were discussed. These included the implementation of the constitutional reforms in Ukraine, as well as the local elections in Donbas as agreed to by representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk legislations. The parties agreed to continue to actively participate in the framework of the so-called Normandy format, including implementing the upcoming Foreign Ministers meeting.