Ukraine/Russia/telephone conversation in the “Normandy format”
President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel spoke to Presidents Poroshenko and Putin today about the situation in Ukraine.
Calming down the situation on the ground was regarded as the absolute priority. The ceasefire violations and fighting – particularly near Mariupol, Schastya, Donetsk airport and the Shirokino area – must cease.
The four leaders agreed on the OSCE’s central role in improving the implementation of the ceasefire and monitoring the withdrawal of heavy weapons. It is essential that the observers have the freedom of action necessary to carry out their mission and can be deployed at new observation points.
The state of implementation of all the measures set out in the package adopted in Minsk on 12 February was examined, and possible improvements were considered so that they could take full effect as soon as possible.
The release of prisoners and humanitarian assistance must be facilitated, in liaison with the ICRC.
The four leaders agreed that four Contact Group working groups – devoted to security, political issues, economic and reconstruction issues, and refugees and displaced people – must now meet in the coming days.
This stage will mark the beginning of the political phase of the Minsk agreements’ implementation./.