08:31 GMT09 August 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the deployment of UN forces in Ukraine's southeast with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, saying Russia is ready to expand the mission's functions there.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — During the talks, Putin notified Merkel of Moscow's readiness to expand the functions of the proposed UN Mission in Ukraine's Donbass region proposed in the Russian draft resolution of the UN Security Council, the Kremlin press service said Monday.

    "Vladimir Putin detailed the Russian initiative to establish a UN mission to promote the protection of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Taking into account the views expressed by Angela Merkel, the Russian leader noted readiness to supplement the functions of the UN mission proposed in the Russian draft resolution of the Security Council," the press service said.

    The protection of OSCE observers by the UN mission can be carried out not only along the contact line after the expansion of the forces and assets of both sides but also in other places where the OSCE SMM conducts its inspection trips in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

    The two leaders also discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements on conflict settlement in the southeast of Ukraine. Putin and Merkel underlined the unacceptability of any violations of the ceasefire regime undermining the so-called "school truce" agreed by the Contact Group and supported by the leaders of the "Normandy Format" states.

    Ukraine's authorities have been conducting a military operation in the country's eastern regions since April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new government in Kiev. In February 2015, Kiev and the Donbass militias signed a ceasefire agreement but, despite the deal, both sides have been reporting violations of the ceasefire.


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