Putin, Merkel express concerns about escalation of tensions in Donbas - Kremlin
MOSCOW. April 8 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed the settlement of the situation in Donbas by phone, the Kremlin press service said on Thursday.
"While exchanging opinions on the settlement of the internal Ukrainian crisis, the Russian president and the German chancellor expressed concerns about the escalation of tensions in southeastern Ukraine," the press service said.
"Vladimir Putin spoke about Kyiv's provocative actions, recently deliberately aggravating the situation on the contact line. He spoke about the need for close observance by the Kyiv authorities of the earlier reached agreements, primarily on establishing direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk and the legalization of the special status of Donbas," the press service said.
"The conflicting parties were urged to exercise restraint and to intensify the negotiation process for the purpose of the full implementation of the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures as a foundation for settlement to which there is no alternative. Commitment to further close coordination of the efforts of Russia and Germany, including in the Normandy format and through political advisors and the foreign ministries, was reaffirmed," it said.