Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande expressed their deep condolences over the heinous terrorist attack in the St Petersburg metro and asked Vladimir Putin to convey their words of sympathy to the families of the victims and wishes of early recovery to the injured.
The European leaders have pointed out the importance of strengthening cooperation against the common terrorist threat and have agreed to build up the exchange of information between their security agencies.
The discussion of the situation in southeast Ukraine focused on the need to ensure the stability of the ceasefire along the entire length of the contact line. The leaders stressed that the parties to the internal Ukrainian conflict must comply with the Easter ceasefire agreed by the Trilateral Contact Group starting from April 1 and with other de-escalation arrangements. These concern above all the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the disengagement of the parties’ forces and weapons, particularly in Luganskaya.
Vladimir Putin has called for launching efforts to implement the political provisions of the Minsk Agreements as soon as possible. He pointed out the importance of coordinating moves in the sphere of security and political settlement, which should be reflected in the roadmap that is being drafted by the leaders’ aides in keeping with the decisions taken at the Normandy format summit in Berlin on October 19, 2016.
The conversation focused on the humanitarian situation in southeast Ukraine. President Putin pointed out again that Kiev should lift the blockade of the region as soon as possible and take emergency measures to settle the socioeconomic issues in Donbass in accordance with the Minsk Package.
The leaders also discussed the operation of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
They have agreed to continue their contacts within the Normandy format, including in light of the upcoming consultations of their aides on April 6.