09:34 Jul. 7, 2016
Two leaders had phone talks on Ukrainian crisis
Ukraine must start a real "direct dialogue" with the leaders of the separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk region, which lies within Kyiv's obligations as a participant on the Minsk agreements.
This is according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had late phone talks with his American counterpart Barack Obama on July 6. The two leaders touched upon a number of world issues, including Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh and Ukraine.
Putin, who is accused by the West of enkindling the separatist war in Ukraine's east, stressed the need "to step up efforts to address ceasefire violations and the withdrawal of heavy weapons".
"During the discussion of Ukraine, the President of Russia again pointed to the importance of Kyiv strictly observing the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015, including amnesty, special status for Donetsk and Luhansk and the joint elaboration of a law on local election", the Kremlin's message said.
Barack Obama, in turn, put the responsibility for the hostility deescalation on Russia and its leader.
"President Obama urged President Putin to take steps to end the significant uptick in fighting in eastern Ukraine", the White House reported.
Both Presidents ended their conversations with reminding each other of the importance of "moving forward with full implementation of the Minsk agreements".