They discussed the developments in the context of a Saturday announcement of the suspension of hostilities in southeast Ukraine by Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko, Interfax reports.
“Putin generally supported the decision of Petr Poroshenko to implement the plan of a peace settlement. In this context it was stressed that the intentions announced by the Ukrainian head of state must be supported by an actual ceasefire.
The need was stressed to immediately launch talks between the Kiev authorities and representatives of the protesting regions,” the report of the press service says.
The presidents of Russia and France and the German chancellor repeated their readiness to further promote normalization in Ukraine, the Kremlin stressed.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Sunday to back talks between Kiev and rebels in eastern Ukraine, AFP reports.
In three-way telephone conversation, Hollande and Merkel “called on all sides in the conflict to cease hostilities and asked the Russian president to promote the resumption of negotiations,” the French president’s office said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes direct contacts between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Petr Poroshenko, on the situation in eastern Ukraine’s embattled Lugansk and Donetsk regions, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Thursday.
Seibert’s statement came after phone talks that Merkel held with Poroshenko and French President Francois Hollande.
“Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel urged the Russian president to make all required efforts to render influence on armed groups and terminate the standoff as soon as possible,” the French presidential administration said in a communique.
“Otherwise, the international community may adopt new measures that will affect relations with Russia,” it said, adding that Paris and Berlin called on Moscow “to resume talks on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.”
The chancellor said she is convinced that “the so much needed deescalation (in Ukraine’s southeast) may only be achieved through joint efforts,” according to Seibert. Merkel said Russia should “use its influence” on federalization supporters to push for termination of violence in the neighboring country’s troubled east.
Merkel and Poroshenko agreed that Russia needs to “effectively control the border with Ukraine,” Seibert said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in the telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Petr Poroshenko expressed hope that the implementation of the peace plan will focus on solving the problems that caused protests in eastern Ukraine, said the Kremlin press service on Friday.
Since mid-April Kiev carries out special military operation to suppress pro-independence supporters in eastern Ukraine that did not recognize the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities after the February coup. In Moscow, this special operation, which has already resulted in numerous casualties from both sides, called punitive and urged Kiev to stop it immediately.
Poroshenko previously presented his peace plan that consisted out of 14 points. He said he would give the order to cease fire in the east and declare amnesty, let local militias lay down arms and leave Ukraine. The plan also involves constitutional reform and decentralization.
On Thursday evening Poroshenko talked to the Russian leader on the key points of his peace plan in eastern Ukraine (conversation was initiated by the Ukrainian side).” Putin expressed a number of comments with a focus on the immediate cessation of military operations in Lugansk and Donetsk regions “, said the press service.
“Russian President expressed hope that with the implementation of this plan, priority will be given to addressing the key problems that caused strong protests of the population in the regions,” Kremlin reports. Earlier, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov said that Putin stressed the importance of the ceasefire in the conflict zones in the south-east of Ukraine.