Poroshenko, Merkel, Hollande want new talks in Minsk format

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, the press service of the head of state has reported.
The sides discussed the situation in Donbas and noted that despite a reduction in the number of attacks since the announcement of the new ceasefire on December 9 troops and heavy weapons had not been withdrawn from the line of contact, the border had not been closed and hostages had not been released, according to the obligations of the parties stipulated in the Minsk agreements. Poroshenko stressed the need to secure the release of all hostages, whose number currently exceeds 600 people.
The sides agreed that the trilateral contact group should meet as soon as possible to take measures to further implement all points of the Minsk agreements, which are a way to de-escalating the conflict and resolving humanitarian issues in Donbas.
In this context, Poroshenko spoke about the difficult humanitarian situation and outlined measures that the Ukrainian side was taking for its settlement. He said that the Ukrainian authorities would in the next few days send humanitarian aid with food and medicines to the affected areas. The mechanism of the trilateral contact group and cooperation with international organizations are necessary for delivery and proper distribution, he said.
The sides also discussed the possibility of increasing macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, both through the mechanism of international financial institutions and at the bilateral level.
The Ukrainian and French presidents, as well as the German chancellor, called for the expediency of continuing the dialogue in Normandy format.

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