01:32 GMT27 July 2021
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call discussed the Ukrainian crisis, implementation of the Minsk agreements, deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbass among other global issues.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin called on French President Emmanuel Macron to support Russia's initiative on the establishment of a UN mission to protect the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) in the southeast of Ukraine, the Kremlin press service said Friday.

    "The developments in the Ukrainian crisis have also been discussed. [They] have noted the importance of the conflicting parties' full and scrupulous implementation of the agreements reached, including so-called 'school ceasefire,' agreed by the contact group and brokered by leaders of Normandy Four member states. Vladimir Putin called on Emmanuel Macron to support Russia's initiative on the establishment of the UN mission to protect the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in the southeast of Ukraine," the press release read.

    The two leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation on bilateral and global issues.

    "It was agreed to intensify contacts on international and bilateral agenda, at the top and other levels," the press release read.

    In early September, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support for the idea of sending lightly armed peacekeepers to Ukraine in order to ensure the security of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission in Donbass. He stressed that the peacekeepers should operate only along the front line.

    However, Kyiv insisted that the mission should patrol the whole conflict zone including the Ukranian-Russian border.

    Putin also said the issue should be decided in direct contact with representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he was ready to discuss the deployment of such a mission in the region, albeit without Russia's participation, with the UN Security Council. He also stressed that Kiev would not coordinate the parameters for UN peacekeepers' work in Donbass with local militias. Kiev and Moscow prepared separate draft resolutions for the UN Security Council on peacekeepers in the Donbass region.

    North Korea

    Both Leaders also condemned Pyongyang's provocative actions and agreed on the inadmissibility of further escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    "In the context of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the leaders have firmly condemned the provocative actions made by the DPRK, which flagrantly violate the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. Such actions contradict the principles of global non-proliferation and pose a serious threat to regional peace and security," the statement said.

    "The heads of the states agreed that further escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, that could lead to irreparable consequences, was unacceptable, and that the settlement of this extremely complicated situation should be achieved only through political and diplomatic means, via the resumption of direct negotiations," the statement read.

    The North fired what appears to be a medium-range ballistic missile far out into the Pacific on Friday morning. The missile flew over Japan. Following the North's missile test, South Korea, Japan and the United States called for an emergency UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting for this afternoon.

    South Korea has already reacted to the issue by firing two Hyunmoo-2 missiles from a site near the inter-Korean border six minutes after Pyongyang's shot. One of Seoul's missiles "accurately hit" a simulated target in the East Sea some 250 kilometers away, according to a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official. The other fell into water during the initial stage of the flight.

    The South Korean Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reports that American and South Korean personnel are currently investigating the details of the launch.

    The new North Korean missile launch came just days after the UN Security Council approved sanctions against Pyongyang over its missile and nuclear program. On September 3, the North conducted it's most powerful ever nuclear test, which many believe to be an H-bomb.    

    UN peacekeepers, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Donbass, Ukraine, Russia, France
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