Telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel 2016-12-13 21:25:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the initiative of the German side. The two leaders continued to discuss the situation around Russian gas deliveries to European consumers via Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin again expressed concern over Ukraine’s reluctance to coordinate an agreement on purchasing Russian gas this winter season, which jeopardises European transit. Regarding the peaceful settlement of the internal conflict in Ukraine, Mr Putin and Ms Merkel noted the need to intensify efforts to ensure the comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015. The President of Russia stressed that the present situation requires, above all, that the Kiev security forces stop the provocative shelling of residential areas in Donbass, lift the socioeconomic blockade of the region and establish direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. During the discussion of the situation in Syria, Vladimir Putin spoke about Russia’s actions to fight international terrorism and the large-scale aid sent to areas of Syria freed from militants. It was agreed to step up bilateral contacts.