Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky had phone talks after the landmark prisoner swap between the two countries, discussing the civil conflict in eastern Ukraine and measures to settle it, the Kremlin said.
The two presidents stressed the humanitarian aspect of the swap that affected 35 people from each side during the phone conversation late Saturday night.
They both agreed that the swap is an important step to mending ties between the two countries, the Kremlin press service said. Putin and Zelensky also discussed the prospects of solving the crisis inside Ukraine and putting the lengthy conflict between Kiev and the breakaway Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk to an end.
The two presidents talked about have also discussed the prospects of a new meeting in the Normandy Four format, that comprises leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. The process has been somewhat stalled since 2016, but since his election in April 2019 Zelensky urged for leaders to meet. Such an event must be thoroughly prepared to yield some results in regards to actually implementing the Minsk agreements, Putin stressed.
The agreements, signed early in 2015, encompasses steps needed to end the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine and reintegration of the two breakaway republics. While the Normandy Four has repeatedly reiterated its support towards the deal, nothing was effectively accomplished in over two years and low-intensity conflict continues.