Hollande, Merkel, Putin back ceasefire plan for Donbas, discuss Ukraine's local elections
France, Germany and Russia backed plans for a complete ceasefire in eastern Ukraine from September 1, and discussed upcoming local elections in Ukraine in a telephone conversation, foreign media reported citing the three leaders' press services.
Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists, in a gesture to shore up a tenuous ceasefire, agreed on August 26 to strive for an end to all truce violations from next Tuesday, the OSCE and rebel representatives have said, Reuters reports.
"They strongly backed the call for a complete ceasefire from September 1," Hollande's office said. "They underlined that the respect of a lasting ceasefire was a necessity given the situation of civilians in eastern Ukraine."
In a statement, French President Francois Hollande's office said he also agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin that it would be useful to hold a summit with Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko in the coming weeks.
They leaders also discussed Ukraine’s upcoming local elections, according to RFE/RL.
It was emphasized that these elections must be held in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation and internationally accepted OSCE standards, involving monitors from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, said the press services of the two Western leaders.
However, Merkel, Hollande have stressed that individual elections in the occupied territories separatists, contrary to the agreements would create a threat to the Minsk process, as noted by German Chancellor spokesman Steffen Seibert.
A somewhat different version of this conversation was reported in Moscow.The Kremlin press service stressed Putin’s, who again “expressed concern over the increasingly frequent cases of Ukrainian forces firing at civilian sites, which has led to civilian losses.”
As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 24, Poroshenko met with Merkel and Hollande during his working visit to Berlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited to the meeting.