Putin, Merkel call for political dialogue in Ukraine
Updated: 2015-05-11 09:09
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a news conference after talks at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 10, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday reiterated that the crisis of Ukraine should only be solved through political dialogue.
"I am convinced that a reliable, long-term settlement can only be achieved by establishing direct dialogue between Kiev, (the two self-proclaimed republics of) Donetsk and Lugansk," Putin said during a meeting held in Moscow, the capital of Russia, Sunday.
The Victory Day of Russia is marked on May 9 annually but on this very day of the year Russia celebrated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War, Russia's term for World War II. Merkel didn't come on the exact day for Russia's grand parade but decided to visit Moscow one day later. Before the two leaders held talks, they laid wreaths at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers at the Red Square in downtown Moscow.
Merkel agreed that Germany would continue to work with Russia for "the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," and support the monitor mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Putin also stressed it was necessary for all parties to stick to the full implementation of the Minsk ceasefire agreement.
"There are reasons to believe that the Minsk process is moving, although with difficulties," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
Merkel added that possibilities of making progress in solving the Ukraine crisis always exist.