Putin, Merkel, Hollande discuss situation in Ukraine
19 Jan 2017 - 11:20
ANKARA: Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Wednesday the situation in Ukraine over a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
"Dissatisfaction was expressed with the general situation surrounding the settlement of the Ukraine crisis," the Kremlin said in a statement.
The leaders discussed the progress toward implementing the Minsk agreements, including Normandy format summit which was held in Berlin on Oct. 19.
Putin, Merkel, Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gathered in Berlin for the first time in more than a year for a four-party meeting, amid intensified fighting in eastern Ukraine between government troops and pro-Russian separatists.
"There was an emphasis on the importance of stepping up joint efforts to de-escalate tensions in southeastern Ukraine and ensuring consistent implementation of the Minsk-2 provisions," it added.
The leaders also agreed on giving an "additional impetus" to the Normandy format activities and holding meetings at various level in the upcoming period.
Ukraine has been wracked by conflict since March 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea after an illegal independence vote on the heels of violent anti-government protests which led to the overthrow of the then-President Victor Yanukovich.
The UN General Assembly had voted nearly unanimously to proclaim the Russian annexation as illegal.
Along with many UN countries, the U.S., the EU, and Turkey also do not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.
Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia separatists has seen around 9,750 killed, according to the UN.