Hollande, Merkel note importance of Ukraine's constitutional reform, urge for Shyrokyne demilitarization
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the telephone talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the need to urgently address the issue of demilitarization and demining of Shyrokyne, Donetsk region, and the surrounding area.
"Urgent measures must be taken, in particular, to proceed with the withdrawal of tanks and light weapons and to reach an agreement on demilitarization and demining of Shyrokyne area," the French president's office said in a communiqué on the results of the talks of the Normandy Four leaders on Friday.
Hollande's press service said that since the last meeting in this format held on April 30, 2015, the Ukrainian authorities had taken some "important steps." On July 16, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution, which stipulate for a special procedure of local governing in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
This momentum must be maintained so that all the measures of the Minsk agreements should be effective by the end of this year, the communiqué said.
Hollande and Merkel also noted the need for the sides to comply with their commitments to ensure security.
The "Normandy Four" leaders also recalled the central role of the OSCE in particular in improving the observance of ceasefire and verifying the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Everything must be done to ensure that observers have freedom of action and resources needed to carry out their mission, the communiqué said.
As reported, Poroshenko's press service said that during this telephone conversation the Ukrainian president expressed concern about the further escalation in Donbas, and called for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Poroshenko stressed that Ukraine, unlike the other party, is fulfilling the Minsk agreement.
The Ukrainian president also stressed the need for the "unconditional and immediate release of all the hostages, including the citizens of Ukraine who are illegally held in territory of Russia, including captive Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko and Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov.