Telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel 2016-09-29 18:45:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel at Germany’s initiative. The two leaders continued discussing issues related to Ukraine with a view to intensifying efforts to fully implement the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015. They emphasised the need to coordinate efforts to enhance security and resolve political aspects of the settlement. In this context a positive assessment was given of the Contact Group’s Framework Decision on Disengagement of Forces and Hardware in three sections of the conflict zone and the role of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in ensuring compliance with the truce. In light of the recent decision by the Donbass leadership to declare a unilateral ceasefire, the President of Russia expressed hope that Ukraine will also refrain from armed provocations in the conflict zone and will finally take real steps to fulfil its political commitments. This applies, in part, to the commitments on amnesty and constitutional reform, granting a permanent special status to Donbass and holding local elections. A schedule was coordinated for further contacts in the Normandy format at different levels. The conversation also touched upon the developments in Syria, emphasising the need for the international community to work together to uphold the cessation of hostilities on the basis of the Russian-US agreements of September 9, 2016. The President of Russia again stressed how important it is for the United States to fulfil its promises to ensure the separation of the so-called moderate opposition from terrorist groups. It was stressed that Russia will continue its efforts to reach a sustainable truce and improve the humanitarian situation in Syria.