German Chancellor Merkel asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops from the eastern border with Ukraine on the phone. Russia has recently strengthened its presence in border areas. Merkel’s spokesperson said after the call that Merkel called for a downgrade.
According to the Kremlin, Putin and Merkel called for restraint from the warring factions. Negotiations should be restarted to fully implement the 2015 peace plan, which agreed to end the conflict.
Just today, Ukrainian President Zelensky visited the front lines in eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin instructed Ukraine not to use force to retake the area from pro-Russian separatists. “This may force Russia to intervene to protect civilians in the area.”
Zelensky said the military is doing everything possible to protect his country and maintain a ceasefire.
Look at the photos of President Zelensky in the previous battle:
In the dialogue with Merkel, Putin talked about Ukraine’s provocative behavior, which has stirred up tensions on the front lines. The Kremlin said that the Kiev government must strictly abide by the previous agreement. In other words, they have direct dialogue with separatists and have independent status in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Luhansk and Donetsk regions are dominated by pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine rejected these demands.
The ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has been frequently violated recently. The conflict continues to intensify, and the two sides blame each other. NATO last week expressed concern about the contraction of Russian troops at the border. The Kremlin said that this is necessary for Russia’s security. It believes that any movement of NATO soldiers poses a threat to the stability of the border area.
The situation Navalny also discussed
Merkel also talked to Putin about the convicted opposition leader Navalny. He has a strict system in prison and is sick. According to his lawyer, he went on a hunger strike and his health is rapidly deteriorating.
Navalny should not see an independent doctor. His own doctor was arrested in prison on Tuesday. Merkel and Putin’s statement to Navalny has not been disclosed.