Merkel stresses need to provide OSCE with access to Donbass conflict zone

February 3, 2016 12:07 pm 

BERLIN, Feb. 3 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a phone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the necessity to provide the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitoring group with the long-term access to eastern Ukrainian conflict-torn Donbass region, German Chancellor's spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Southeastern Ukraine has been suffering from a crisis triggered by a military operation against local independence supporters launched by Kiev authorities following a coup in April 2014.

"The chancellor made it clear for President Putin that for further progress in overall political settlement [of the Ukrainian crisis] the situation with security in eastern Ukraine must be improved, a ceasefire regime must be implemented and an easy access for the OSCE monitoring group to the entire conflict area including the Ukraine's state border must be provided," Seibert said on Tuesday.

According to Seibert, Merkel urged Moscow "to put pressure on the separatists" regarding these issues.

Germany is part of the so-called Normandy format group, alongside Ukraine, Russia and France, that brokered the ceasefire agreement between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics signed in Minsk in February 2015. (PNA/Sputnik)



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