French and Russian Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation on Wednesday. The conversation took place at the initiative of the French side, the Kremlin's press service reports.
The Presidents discussed, among other things, the steps for resolving the situation in the Donbas. Macron and Putin praised the ceasefire agreed upon by the Trilateral Contact Group.
Putin once again pointed out the importance of Kyiv's direct dialogue with the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics
"The Russian President once again stressed the importance of Ukraine's strict adherence to its obligations on the political aspects of the Minsk agreements, including establishing a direct dialogue between Kyiv and Donetsk and Luhansk in order to formalize the special status of the Donbas," the Kremlin’s statement reads.
The Presidents also agreed to continue working together within the "Normandy format".
At the end of July, a letter sent from the deputy head of the Russian Presidential Administration, Dmitry Kozak, to an adviser of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, appeared in the media, in which he allegedly called the "Normandy Four" talks meaningless, and suggested to abandon them.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that there is no talk of winding down the negotiation process on Donbas.
The head of the Office of the Ukrainian President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak called Kozak's letter part of Russian diplomatic game and added that "Normandy format" negotiations are continuing.