Telephone conversation with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel 2018-04-09 17:10:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel. Vladimir Putin once again expressed condolences in connection with the tragedy that occurred on April 7 in Munster. The situation in southeastern Ukraine was discussed, with the understanding that the implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the only possible basis for settling the crisis peacefully. In particular, both leaders noted the importance of keeping the Easter truce and expressed readiness to continue supporting the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) on the contact line. Issues related to the possible establishment of a UN mission to protect OSCE observers were also discussed. The importance of continuing efforts to secure swaps of prisoners and illegally detained persons based on the “all for all” principle was underscored. Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel agreed to continue joint efforts in the Normandy format to settle the internal crisis in Ukraine. The two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria, including chemical attack accusations made by a number of Western states against official Damascus. Russia’s position – that it is unacceptable to use this as an opportunity for provocation and speculation – was conveyed. The President of Russia stressed the importance of consolidating the efforts of the global community in providing humanitarian aid to those in need across the Syrian Arab Republic pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2401. The positions of Russia and Germany on implementing Nord Stream 2, a major and mutually beneficial gas project, were reaffirmed.