Moscow, Feb 8: Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for an immediate restoration of a truce in southeastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said Tuesday. The two leaders expressed serious concern during a phone conversation over the recent escalation of the armed conflict between Ukrainian government troops and local militias in the Donbass region, Xinhua quoted a Kremlin statement as saying.
Putin told Merkel that there was “a clear desire for Kiev to disrupt the implementation of the Minsk agreements and use the Normandy format as a cover for its destructive steps.” The Normany format is a group composed of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine. According to the Kremlin, Putin and Merkal agreed to step up diplomatic efforts to promote a peaceful settlement to the crisis and hold further Normandy group meetings. (IANS)