German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of France Emmanuel Macron and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin discussed a number of issues, including the escalation in Donbas, during talks via video conference.

According to the Kremlin’s press service, Putin accused Ukraine of “provoking the escalation of the armed confrontation on the line of contact” in Donbas and of refusing to take ceasefire measures. He demanded that Ukraine fulfill all the agreements previously reached within the framework of the Normandy format and Minsk.

At the same time, the Élysée Palace notes that “the need for Russia to make a firm commitment to stabilise the ceasefire in Ukraine and develop ways out of the crisis in accordance with the Minsk Agreements” was underscored during the talks.

The website of the German government states that the leaders of France and Germany called on Russia to hold a Normandy format meeting in order to fully implement the Minsk Agreements.

In addition, it is noted that the political advisers to the Normandy Four leaders will continue to work together on this issue.

As a reminder, the intention of the president of Russia to discuss the situation in Donbas of Ukraine on March 29 became known. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemned those plans.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine has increased significantly. On 26 March, four Ukrainian servicemen were killed on the line of contact. This is the greatest loss suffered by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a single battle since the beginning of the ceasefire, which was established in July 2020.

Bohdan Marusyak

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