Russia, Germany, France Call for Full Ceasefire in Ukraine Starting on September 1World | August 30, 2015, Sunday // 11:10| views
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), French President Francois Hollande (C-L), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C-R) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R) attend their meeting in Minsk, Belarus, 11 February 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES
Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande called for a complete ceasefire in eastern Ukraine beginning on September 1 due to the start of the school year.
The three leaders issued the call during a telephone conversation on Saturday, the main topics of discussion being the situation in southeastern Ukraine and the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Merkel and Hollande informed Putin about the results of their recent meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin, TASS news agency informs.
Putin expressed concern about the continuing artillery shelling of civilian areas in Donbas by the Ukrainian military and Kiev's build-up of armed forces along the demarcation line.
The three leaders highlighted the need to establish a direct dialogue between Kiev and representatives of the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk as well as lifting the financial and economic blockade of Donbas.
Putin, Merkel and Hollande also reaffirmed their commitment to continue their cooperation within the so-called Normandy format, which also comprises Poroshenko.
They discussed the need for further talks between the foreign ministers of the four countries and preparations for a new summit conference.
The three leaders were unanimous that the Minsk agreements remained the basis for improving the situation in Ukraine.
They commended the efforts of the trilateral contact group and vowed to ensure the security of OSCE representatives.
The three leaders also discussed issues related to the forthcoming local elections in Ukraine, which are scheduled to take place in the autumn.
Merkel and Hollande noted that if the elections are not held in compliance with Ukrainian legislation, this could pose a threat to the Minsk process.
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