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Putin discusses Ukrainian troops' actions in Donbass with Merkel, Hollande
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone conversation with German and French leaders Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, has drawn attention to the provocative nature of the Ukrainian troops' actions in southeastern Ukraine. "Vladimir Putin drew attention to the provocative nature of the actions of the Ukrainian troops in southeastern Ukraine," the Kremlin press service reported. "In this regard, the Russian president urged his counterparts to more actively influence the Ukrainian side, including during the upcoming contacts with (Ukrainian President) Pyotr Poroshenko in Warsaw to ensure strict compliance with the Minsk agreements."
The three leaders noted the need to intensify negotiations in various formats to ensure the full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk accords. "(They) pointed to the viability of synchronizing efforts in the field of security and the political settlement, which includes provision of a legislative framework for a special status of Donbass on a permanent basis, Constitutional reform, amnesty and organization of local elections," the Kremlin press service said. "They agreed to continue consultations on the Ukrainian issue at various levels."
The leaders of the three countries also attach an important role to the effective work of the OSCE special monitoring mission in ensuring the truce in Ukraine. In a telephone conversation, the leaders of the three countries "discussed the development of the Ukraine crisis. A concern was expressed over the more frequent cases of truce breaches in Donbass lately," the Kremlin press office said. They "emphasized the priority of the task of preventing further degradation of the situation in the conflict area and consistently implementing the accords on the pullout of heavy armaments and mutual disengagement of the sides from the contact line. In this process, an important role in ensuring the truce should be attached to the effective work of the OSCE special monitoring mission."
The peaceful settlement in the Donbass region is based on the so-called Minsk agreements signed by the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders in February 2015. They envisage not only a ceasefire, weapons withdrawal, amnesty, restoration of economic ties but also a profound Constitutional reform in Ukraine, which should lead to the decentralization of power with due account for the need to grant a special administration status to separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on a permanent basis.
However, this plan has not been executed to date. The parties consistently violate the ceasefire in the Donbass region. The Ukrainian side has completely abandoned the provision on amnesty and is pushing ahead with the Donbass economic blockade. None of the provisions on the political agreements has been implemented. The Constitutional reform has not been carried out, the law on the region's special status has not been enacted, the law on elections in Donbass has not been passed.
Instead, the Ukrainian side delays the elections citing the need to ensure safety and insists on the transfer of control over a section of the border with Russia, even though, according to the Minsk accords, this should be done after the elections.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 08Jul16]
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