Merkel proposes holding east Ukraine telephone conference on June 25

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has supported Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko’s plan to restore peace to the country’s eastern regions and has proposed holding on June 25 a telephone conference in the format launched during recent meetings in Normandy, the Ukrainian president’s press service has reported.

During their telephone conversation on Monday, the German leader also welcomed the work of the trilateral group and expressed hope that both the Kyiv authorities and all the other side’s involved would make every effort to bring peace back to the conflict-torn east of Ukraine.

Poroshenko, for his part, told Merkel he was blaming the leaders of “illegal armed groups” for the continuing fighting in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

In defiance of a ceasefire proposed by his peace plan, the “militants have refused to lay down their arms and continue to attack checkpoints and strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian president said.

“Terrorists have opened fire on Ukrainian servicemen nine times over the past 24 hours. All in all, militants have violated the ceasefire 31 times,” he said.

Poroshenko also said he had officially invited Russia to send its inspectors to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Monitoring Mission in order to enable them to confirm Kiev’s total compliance with the ceasefire.

Poroshenko, Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin held unofficial meetings in Normandy on June 6, on the sidelines of the 70th anniversary commemorations of the D-day landings.

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