Normandy Group pledges to implement Minsk Protocol

PARIS, May 24 (KUNA) — France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine (Normandy Group) have pledged their full commitment to the Minsk Protocol on Tuesday.
French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have discussed means of resolving the current crisis in Ukraine over a multilateral phone call.
The leaders affirmed exerting efforts to implement the protocol’s articles in the nearest time to end the Ukrainian conflict, said the Elysee Palace in a statement.
They also stressed the importance of taking measures for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, including arms embargo, withdrawal of armed forces and releasing prisoners, the statement added. The talks also involved holding local elections in Donbass region in accordance with the laws of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), it said.
The Minsk Protocol is an agreement to halt the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine; signed on September 5, 2014 after extensive talks in Minsk, Belarus, under the auspices of OSCE.
On Monday, the Ukrainian army announced that one soldier was killed and three others wounded in an attack by Ukrainian separatists, despite the ongoing truce in the area.
Eastern Ukraine has been under conflict between the government and pro-Russia separatists, killing and injuring many people and leading over one million to flee their homes since April 2014. (end) mmb.ag

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