On July 11 the press services of Russian and Ukrainian Presidents reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin had their first telephone conversation. The Kremlin said that the conversation took place at the initiative of Kyiv.
According to the press service of Ukrainian President Zelensky, the primary issue of the conversation was the release of Ukrainian sailors detained by Russia during the attack in the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Another topic for the discussion was the return of other Ukrainian citizens who are imprisoned in the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Kremlin reported that presidents of the two countries discussed the settlement of the conflict in the East of Ukraine and joint work on the return of the arrested persons in both countries. "The agreement to continue this work at the expert level has been reached," reads the Kremlin's message.
Also, Putin and Zelensky discussed the possibility of a new meeting within the Normandy Format. Earlier on the same day, the Russian President said that the proposal of the Ukrainian President Zelensky to expand the Normandy Format is interesting. Three days earlier, Zelensky through a video message offered Putin to hold a meeting in Minsk with the participation of the US President Donald Trump, the Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President of France Emmanuel Macron. Ukrainian President said that he wanted to ask Putin "whose troops are present in the Donbas?"