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    Putin, European Leaders Back More Active OSCE Role in Monitoring Ukraine Conflict

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    The leaders of Russia, Germany and France agreed in a conference call that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should play a more active role in monitoring the conflict in Ukraine, the Kremlin said Thursday.

    MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - The leaders of Russia, Germany and France agreed in a conference call that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should play a more active role in monitoring the conflict in Ukraine, the Kremlin said Thursday.

    "The leaders of the three states spoke in favor of a more active role for the OSCE in monitoring situation in the conflict zone," the Kremlin said in a statement.

    While speaking to French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressed deep concern about the growing number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia and civilian casualties in the violence-plagued regions of Ukraine.

    According to a statement released by the Elysee Palace, the three leaders also stressed the importance of the agreement that was reached Wednesday in Berlin between the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia to achieve a bilateral ceasefire in the restive Ukrainian regions.

    The French president and the German chancellor urged Moscow to facilitate the organization of a meeting of the contact group, including representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE, that would establish conditions for a truce.

    The statement also said that during the phone conversation Hollande and Merkel called on Russia to act as a mediator during talks with independence supporters to encourage their consent to come to the negotiating table and reach an agreement with the authorities in Kiev.

    Tags:
    OSCE, Francois Hollande, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel
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