Zelensky and Putin discuss Donbas / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had a phone call late on Saturday, September 7, to discuss further steps on Donbas, eastern Ukraine.

"President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The parties expressed content over the results of the fulfillment of the agreements within the first stage on the path to normalization of the dialogue," Zelensky's press service said in a statement.

The two presidents also agreed to discuss a date for holding a meeting in the Normandy format, which involves the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.

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"In addition, the parties discussed future steps within the Minsk process to settle the conflict in Donbas," the statement said.

Read alsoRussia-led forces use proscribed arms to attack Ukrainian positions in Donbas on Sept 7

According to the readout of the phone conversation, which was posted on the Kremlin's website, the Russian president stressed the need for preparations for the next meeting in the Normandy format to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The two presidents also discussed the importance of observing a ceasefire in Donbas and touched upon next steps to disengage troops in the east of Ukraine.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine and Russia on September 7 handled a prisoner swap as a result of which 24 Ukrainian sailors, who were captured by Russian special forces near the Kerch Strait in November 2018, and 11 political prisoners returned to Ukraine. The political prisoners include Roman Sushchenko, Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpyuk, Oleksiy Syzonovych, Pavlo Hryb, Edem Bekirov, Yevhen Panov, and Arthur Panov.

Meanwhile, 35 people were transferred to Russia. All of them were convicted of various crimes in Ukraine or are persons involved in criminal proceedings, including an investigation in the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014.