While discussing the crisis situation in southeastern Ukraine, Angela Merkel was interested to know the reasons for the withdrawal of Russian army officers from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire and Stabilisation of the Line of the Contact between the Sides (JCCC).
Vladimir Putin noted in particular that for a long time the Ukrainian authorities have been purposely complicating the presence of Russian officers and the performance of their duties through various restrictions and provocations. There has been no response to Russia’s repeated proposals to deal with the unacceptable situation that has evolved.
The Russian and German leaders agreed to continue the discussion of outstanding issues that must be resolved in order for the JCCC to resume full-fledged operation. They agreed that their aides would continue to work on conditions that would make it possible for Russian officers to return to the centre.
In addition, Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel spoke in favour of implementing the initiative to exchange persons held by the parties to the domestic Ukrainian conflict as soon as possible, and supported the Christmas armistice declared by the Contact Group.