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Normandy Four agrees to extend Minsk deals to 2016 — Kremlin
The Normandy Four has agreed to extend the validity of the Minsk Agreements to 2016 after a phone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
"The leaders thoroughly discussed the still tense and unstable situation in southeast Ukraine in the context of implementation of the agreements coordinated in Minsk February 12, 2015," the Kremlin reported.
"They agreed to extend their validity to 2016. The importance was noted of further work of the Contact Group to fully and comprehensively implement the Minsk Package of Measures," it said.
The Normandy Four leaders underscored "the principled necessity to clearly comply with the ceasefire regime at the contact line in Donbass."
"This would create prerequisites for fulfillment of tasks connected with further promotion of political settlement. They in particular agreed to boost discussions in the Contact Group, oriented to the soonest possible development and adoption of the law on local elections in separate districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions," the Kremlin said.
The foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine have been instructed to make a thorough inspection of the course of implementation of the Minsk deals in early 2016. Personal contacts between the four countries' leaders will also be continued.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 30Dec15]
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