The four leaders examined the implementation of the Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015, taking into account the results of the recent meeting of the Contact Group and its working sub-groups on July 21.
They expressed satisfaction with the decision announced by the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic to carry out a voluntary and unilateral withdrawal of arms of a calibre of less than 100mm, and the start of this withdrawal. The Contact Group’s working sub-group on security has reached agreement on a document on withdrawal of tanks and mortars of a calibre of less than 120mm and artillery systems with a calibre of less than 100mm to 15 kilometres from the line of contact. The emphasis is now on getting this document signed as soon as possible and implementing these agreements that complement the measures set out in the Minsk Agreements.
The four leaders once again stressed the importance of strict compliance with the ceasefire regime and establishment of demilitarised zones, under the oversight of the OSCE’s special monitoring mission. In this respect, a call was made for Ukrainian forces to withdraw from the village of Shirokino, which the self-defence forces withdrew from earlier in a goodwill gesture. They also discussed the exchange of people detained by both sides in the conflict, and the possibility of getting International Red Cross representatives involved.
Mr Putin stressed that a stable and comprehensive settlement to Ukraine’s internal crisis would be possible only if Kiev establishes direct dialogue with Donbass representatives. The Russian leader called on Ukraine to comply more closely with the spirit and the letter of the Minsk Agreements, and in particular to consult with Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics representatives and bring into legal force a permanent legally enshrined special status for the two regions and a law on an amnesty, and also settle the procedures for holding local elections.
The four leaders exchanged views on possible steps to resolve a number of serious social, economic and humanitarian problems in the Donbass region.
They also discussed matters concerning Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.
The four leaders agreed to continue their work in the Normandy format at various levels.