11 Dec 2018 09:09

Putin, Merkel both interested in averting escalation of tensions in Sea of Azov and Black Sea - Kremlin

MOSCOW. Dec 11 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Kremlin press service said.

During the phone call, initiated by the German side, "the parties continued discussing the situation that emerged following the violation by Ukrainian ships of the state border of the Russian Federation on November 25, 2018. They expressed their mutual interest in averting any escalation of tensions in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea and in resolving the problems caused by those provocative actions of the Ukrainian authorities," the press service said.

Putin and Merkel also discussed the Syrian crisis, it said.

"The sides reaffirmed the priority nature of the tasks to promote the intra-Syrian dialogue and form the constitutional committee," the press service said.

"The leaders also exchanged opinions on the situation in the field of strategic security in light of the U.S. administration's intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty," it said.

The sides agreed to continue contacts at different levels, the press service said.