Putin stresses importance of army units withdrawal from southeastern Ukraine regions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation initiated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the withdrawal of armed forces from Southeastern Ukraine’s regions, ending violence and immediately launching the national dialogue are key steps, Kremlin’s press Service said Thursday. “Putin stresses that the most important now consists in withdrawing army units from Southeastern Ukraine’s regions, ending violence, and immediately launching Russian dialogue in the framework of constitutional reforms process involving all regions and political forces,” the kremlin said.

“The discussion of the development of the social and political crisis in Ukraine continues. Merkel asks for help in the release of military observers, from several European countries, including Germany, detained in southeastern Ukraine,” the Kremlin said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday Moscow calls for immediate release of the OSCE observers detained by protesters last week in Ukraine, but cannot influence decisions made by local self-defense forces.

A bus carrying seven members of an OSCE observer mission in Ukraine and five Ukrainian military officers was seized by pro-federalization protesters in eastern city of Slaviansk on April 25.

After negotiations, one of the OSCE team members, Swedish military officer Ingvi Thomas Johanson, was released for medical reasons. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier expressed hope that the hostages would soon leave the territory but stressed that the Ukrainian authorities should have agreed the visit of OSCE observers with pro-federalization activists who do not recognize the Kiev regime and control the area.

Merkel asks Putin’s help release military observers in southeastern Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation to help release the detained military observers detained in southeastern Ukraine, the Kremlin’s Press Service said Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that today the most important thing for the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis was the withdrawal of military units from the country’s southeast, cessation of violence and an extensive national dialogue. The Kremlin press service reported this on Thursday, adding that the conversation took place at the initiative of the German side.

“The discussion of the development of the social and political crisis in Ukraine continues. Merkel asks for a help in the release of military observers, from several European countries, including Germany, and detained in Southeastern Ukraine,” the Kremlin’s press service said Thursday.

“Putin stressed that the main thing today is to withdraw troops from the southeast regions of the country, stop violence, immediately launch an extensive national dialogue that would involve all the regions and political forces,” the Kremlin stressed.

“Both sides noted the importance of the maximum use of the mediator potential of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) throughout Ukraine,” the press service said.

The leaders of Russia and Germany arranged to hold another telephone conversation shortly.

Putin and Merkel permanently keep in touch in connection with the Ukrainian crisis: in March and in April the settlement of this situation was the subject of six telephone conversations.

On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron. The leaders agreed that the political confrontation in Ukraine could be overcome exclusively by peaceful means.

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